EYE’s programme ‘Where Do We Go Now?’ – Arab Women Behind the Camera' also features two films by a male Arab director. In Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, the death of an Arab woman in Canada leads her children to a war-torn country in the Middle East, where the twins Jeanne and Simon are haunted by flashbacks from their mother Nawal’s past (Lubna Azabal).
Villeneuve based his film on a play by Arab author Wajdi Mouawad, who situated his story in an unidentified country that has been gripped by religious violence for generations.
The death of their mother Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal) confronts her children Jeanne and Simon with unexpected news: the notary informs them that their father, long presumed dead, is still alive, and that their mother also had another child, their half-brother. The twins leave for the Middle East to unravel their family’s history only to be caught up in their parents’ violent past.
Villeneuve’s tale of a quest through a region torn by religious conflict was nominated for an Oscar (Best Foreign Film) five years ago. Brussels-born actor Lubna Azabal previously starred in the Shakespeare adaptation Corioloanus (2011) and films like Viva Laldjérie (2004, Nadir Moknèche) and Rock the Casbah (2013) by Laïla Marrakchi. The latter film is also screened at the festival.