WiseMan asked the usual suspects over dinner last night if any wanted to come with him to see Incendies (in German: Die Frau die singt - the woman who sings). Since I have spent far too much time on plagiarism recently and not on being social, I agreed to join in, even if I knew exactly zero about this film which just opened in Germany and was an nominee for the best foreign film at the Oscars.

As it opened, I realized it was the Middle East (the film was shot in Amman, Jordan) and Canada. There was some fancy "hard math" at the beginning - the Collatz conjecture (which I enjoyed playing with as a young student) and Euler's theological discussion with Diderot "Sir, (a+b^n)/n = x, therefore God exists". This seemed to just be there to impress the innumerate, although the film does end with 1+1=1, which is true if + is interpreted as "or".

Anyway. Horrors. I think I have ignored the Middle East because I do not understand why they want to kill each other. I don't understand the Madonnas on the rifles, the fire and rape and shootings, the retributions, and the questions of "honor".

The film is long, but not over long. It is not a happy end (but I'm not going to give it away, because if you know the ending you spoil the suspense that very slowly builds up). I understand that if you speak Arabic it is pretty horrible because the actors speak with so many different accents that, as one reviewer put it, is like watching a film on the American Civil War shot in Brazil with actors speaking with Australian and Indian accents.

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