I wish all the people who talk so loosely of revolution, insurrection or civil war would see the Quebec film, Incendies. I won't say they'd enjoy it, but they'd have a lot better idea of the real cost of such wars for ordinary people, those who didn't ask for it, but end up brutalized by it.
Today we hear a lot of lose talk on the war on Christmas, the war on the rich, the war on the poor, and on it goes with blame being dispersed many different ways as to who is guilty of the problems in our country. Well one thing that is not going on is anything like what the main character in Incendies experienced when she was born into a country where there was a real, violent and very brutal civil war between Muslims and Christians. Although it's not specifically mentioned, it is likely based on what Lebanon went through in the 70s.
The story begins in modern times as a brother and sister, twins living in Canada, discover, when their recently deceased mother, Naval's will is being read, by her employer, their family benefactor, and a notary, that she wants them to contact their father and brother and deliver a letter to each.
Jeanne and Simon not only didn't know they had a brother but had thought their father had been killed. Jeanne feels an obligation to find the truth of her mother's past and travels to her homeland for the answers. If there is a father still alive, she wants to find out. Simon doesn't want to open this can of worms and only reluctantly joins her after Jeanne calls him begging for his help as the story she has discovered is more complex than she can bear alone. Lebel, the notary, comes with him as a help that likely without the mystery would not be able to be unraveled.
The sub-titled film is brilliantly done but violent and about subjects that many of us would rather not think as in the complexity of life, the consequences of actions, and sometimes how things beyond our control can mark us for life. I do recommend it; but if you are already convinced civil wars are bad, if you cannot tolerate facing how brutal life can be (it's not graphic but emotional in the impact of the violence), it probably is one to skip.
I am glad I saw it as once in awhile I think I need such reminders for why it's important to speak out for peaceful solutions to our own national problems. It is also a good reminder of how fortunate we are to have been born into countries without such vicious, government-led violence. Oh I know our police sometimes hit those they consider out of line or breaking the law. The violence these people experienced was on a whole different level. Let's keep it that way.