The endless “religious” hell of the Middle East, seen in the life of a Lebanese Christian woman (Lubna Azabal) who escapes to a better existence in French Canada. Her stunned offspring uncover the story of their Mother Courage, but director Denis Villeneuve piles it on as a pyramid of rape, shame, lies, torture, murder, atrocities. The moving Azabal and others carry the heavy cross of a story that has some brooding force, facile plot conveniences, and wanly asks us to feel compassion for a despicable sadist. 2011.

1.0 stars

— David Elliott

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