In this harrowing Canadian drama, a civil war that consumed a Middle Eastern country decades earlier has devastating repercussions for a survivor and her children in Montreal. Lubna Azabal (Paradise Now) is outstanding as a single mother who fled the troubled region with her infant twins; after she dies, her grown son and daughter (Maxim Gaudette and Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) are instructed by her will to locate the father they’d thought was dead and the brother they never knew existed. Back in their ancestral homeland the twins gradually uncover their mother’s shameful history as the narrative leaps nightmarishly between present and past. By the end they’ve acquired a measure of self-knowledge at a cost dearer than they expected, which reminds us that what we think we know can be just the beginning of an existential journey. Denis Villeneuve wrote and directed, adapting a play by Wajdi Mouawad. In French and Arabic with subtitles.
R • 2 hours 10 min • 2010