Incendies review

Following the death of their distant mother, a brother and sister are asked to find another brother they didn’t know they had and a father they thought was long dead.

Incendies is a disturbing, unabatedly gripping film, from the intriguing opening scene showing a mysterious boy staring into the camera all the way through to a devastating climax. Initially jarring but ultimately avoiding confusion, its vivid story gradually and very satisfactorily unravels as it swings back and forth between the siblings’ current-day investigations and their mother’s tumultuous young life in Palestine, a life that is more eventful and tragic than her children ever imagined.

This is one of those rare examples of a film where everything just seems to fall in to place. Built on a fascinating story, it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an easy film to make. But the end result is skilfully crafted, visually and aurally captivating, and features impeccable acting performances. A masterful, memorable piece of filmmaking.

5 out of 5

29th Jun 2011 | Official site | On IMDb