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Je Veux Voir (I Want to See)
 
 

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JE VEUX VOIR (I WANT TO SEE)


Directed by | Joana Hadjithomas

Genre documentary  |  Length: 72mins  |  Year of production: 2008


Directed by renowned Lebanese artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Je Veux Voir is a fictiondocumentary hybrid and the directors’ latest exploration of conflict and its visual representation. The film’s premise finds Catherine Deneuve on location in Beirut months after the 2006 war. Anxious “to see” the aftermath of the war, Deneuve is escorted around Beirut and southern Lebanon by local actor Rabih Mrouh. As this “tour” proceeds into increasingly damaged areas of the country it becomes unpredictable, its purpose and path growing ever less certain. Hadjithomas and Joreige have produced a filmessay that subtly explores ways in which media and celebrity conspire to make invisible the very things they aspire “to see”. Lebanon’s devastation appears fleetingly, figuring as a form of cinematic back overwhelmed by the weight of Deneuve’s celebrity. The destruction she witnesses is steadily reduced to a set of stagings for the encounter between this legend of the silver screen and a local actor still shaken by the immediacy of the war. Visually accomplished and with a fine original score, the film won the top documentary prize at the 2009 Gijon International Cine Festival, and was celebrated by film critic Peter Bradshaw for its ‘potent and intriguing cinema of ideas’.