Director: DENIS VILLENEUVE
130 minutes| Canada-France| 2010| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema
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A bitter legacy is passed from generation to generation in this powerful French-Canadian offering, where an exiled daughter’s quest to uncover the truth about her roots unlocks terrible secrets shaped by the Middle East conflict. Bequeathed sealed envelopes to be delivered to the father and brother she never knew, Jeanne (Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin) travels from Canada to southern Lebanon on a quest for answers, her story intercut with flashbacks revealing what happened to her mother (Lubna Azabal) years earlier in the same war-torn region. The title translates as’Scorched’, and these are certainly lives forged in the furnace of prejudice and inhumanity, as Denis Villeneuve’s vivid direction brings a you-are-there intensity to his cinematic expansion of Wajdi Mouawad’s famed original play. While the mystery element draws us in, and the intensity of the unfolding carnage ups the stakes, this story of parentage, connections and love battling intolerance ultimately reveals an intricate complexity worthy of the greatest tragic dramas. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).