Thursday, October 21, 2010


In French and Arabic with English subtitles

Although the film does not attempt to identify the Middle East country where much of the action takes place it could well be the Republic of Lebanon, a country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea bordered by Syria to the North and Israel to the South. Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin has shaped its cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity.
The earliest evidence of civilization dates back more than 7,000 years. Lebanon was the home of the Phoenicians from 3000 – 500 B.C. and later became part of the Ottoman Empire until it gained independence in 1943 with a unique system of government shared by the various religious groups rather than by political affiliation.
There is no consensus among scholars and researchers on what triggered the Lebanese Civil War between Muslims and Christians which lasted from 1975 to 1990 but it resulted in one million people of Christian descent being driven out of the country.

Rémy Girard: Notary Jean Lebel
Lubna Abazal: Nawal Marwan, the mother of non-identical twins
Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin: Jeanne
Maxim Gaudette: her brother Simon
Allen Altman: Notary Maddad

In trying to fulfill her mother’s last wish, Jeanne sets off on a journey that leads her back to her mother’s homeland. Through a series of flashbacks we learn of the events that took place before Nawal left for Canada.

With great cinematography and solid performances all round it is realistic and riveting although not for everyone as there are scenes that will be disturbing to some viewers.

Even with a running time of more than two hours, it is not a minute too long.

for some scenes of graphic violence.

The title translates as Fires.

Where private law is based on French or Spanish civil code, notaries are granted greater legal powers than notaries public, their common-law counterparts.

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