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Movie Review – Incendies

Like Mike
Like Mike

With the 2011 New Zealand International Film Festival soon upon us, a few of the films that will be getting cinema releases soon after the festival are having press screenings now to help promote both their festival screenings and their cinema run. So, with ‘Incendies’ on both my festival and my press screening lists, I decided it made sense to check the film out before the festival and free up that festival spot for another film. With my friend Shelley tagging along for the screening, we sat down and hoped for a good film and something that would set us on a good path for the rest of the coming festival.

“A mother's last wish sends twins Jeanne and Simon on a journey to the Middle East in search of their tangled roots. Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad's acclaimed play, Incendies tells the powerful and moving tale of two young adults' voyage to the core of deep-rooted hatred, never-ending wars and enduring love.”

After coming out of the film the first thing I thought was ‘how did this film not get nominated for Academy Awards this year’? Well a very quick Wikipedia search answered that question as it was in fact up for Best Foreign Film, and in my opinion very much deserved. This was a long film, 130 minutes, and with such a dramatic and complex story the director kept a masterly control over the whole timeframe and I never felt the time or any sense of boredom. I was sucked into the world and enthralled by the unfolding story, simply stunning performances and perfect directing. The directing was very cinematic while at the same time never ‘in your face’ as he just let the characters tell the story through their performances. I will say that the subject matter is very full on, and it’s not for the light hearted, but at the end you will be walking out wanting to talk to everyone else in the cinema about what they thought about it.

9 out of 10 from me.

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