“I Want to See” at Seattle Weekly

A famous French actress (Catherine Deneuve) visiting Beirut takes a trip to south Lebanon to see the damage from the 2006 war as the reconstruction gets underway, with a local actor (Rabih Mroué) as her guide, driver, and commentator. A camera crew also tags along to make a “documentary” of their excursion. The two play versions of themselves in quotation marks—Deneuve the well-meaning European determined to see the truth with her own eyes, shaded by the perspective of privilege and outsider status; Mroué the ambivalent host putting the evidence of past wars and present rebuilding in personal terms. The unspoken politics behind their small talk is the elephant in the car—an intellectual tease that by the end feels like contrivance. What’s been described as a documentary/fiction hybrid, directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, is really more of a conceptual art piece…

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Opens Friday, Jily 8 at Northwest Film Forum

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website (www.streamondemandathome.com). I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org).. I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly, GreenCine.com, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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