The movie “Incendies” directed by Denis Villeneuve is in the drama/war genre. The 2010 Canadian production won the Genie Award for Best Film. The movie takes place in the Middle East and Lebanon, and the music as well as the scenes give the audience a completely different spirit. This spirit is given to the audience by Lubna Azabal as Nawal Marwan.
The movie welcomes us in an orphanage with the gaze of a child with a three-dot mark on his heel and the mystical music of the movie. Then the story of Nawal Marwan begins.
With Nawal Marwan’s death, the veil of mystery about her life is lifted and this gap is shown by Nawal’s twin children, Simon and Jeanne.
After her death, Nawal left a will to her children. In this will, she states that she wants to be buried naked and face down. And that her name should not be written on her grave. Nawal explains this wish as follows: “Those who do not fulfill their promises have no tombstone.”
Nawal leaves a letter for each of her children. One letter is addressed to their father and the other to their brother. When these two letters arrive, the silence will be broken and the promise will be kept. Nawal’s name can then be inscribed on the tombstone.
Thus, as the children investigate their mother’s life, we return to Nawal Marwan’s life during the Lebanese civil war. The places where Jeanne goes to find her mother are shown both in the present and in the past. One of the twins is on the trail of their father, whom they have never met, while the other is on the trail of their brother, whom they have never met. But there is only one name that the children do not know: Nawal Marwan.
When Jeanne, one of the twins, sets off for Lebanon, she learns the following truth about her mother: “You are looking for your father, but you don’t know who your mother is!” After all these years, Nawal’s name is still known in the region, and not in a good way. The twins set out on a journey to deliver their mother’s letters, but in reality they are traveling into the heartbreaking world of their mother. Nawal’s imprisonment in Kfar Ryat prison, beatings, rape… Nawal ended up in this prison for killing the leader of the Christian militia during the Lebanese civil war and became a prisoner who will be remembered for years. She is now remembered as number 72, the woman who sings after every beating and every rape.
While searching for his brother, Simon is awakened to a truth by his twin sister Jeanne. “One plus one does not always equal two!” Following this promise, the twin brothers see the truth and Newal’s promise is kept. The letters go to a single address with two different sender names. One is addressed to whore number 72 and the other to prisoner number 72. The viewer then realizes that one plus one does not always equal two.
The Fire Inside Me is one of the unique films in which war and drama are portrayed through a female character. The final scene, in which the saying that one plus one does not always equal two, puts this movie among the unforgettable productions. The locations are given to the audience in all their reality throughout the movie. Lubna Azabal’s acting takes the movie to a different dimension. Especially the scenes where she comes out of her cell singing despite all the torture she suffered during her imprisonment are the kind of scenes that will stay in the audience’s memory for a long time.

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