Je veux voir

  • 76'
  • Lebanon
  • 2008
Can you put a famous actress who is in Lebanon for a gala into a car and drive around southern Lebanon through the destruction of a civil war? In the first scenes of I Want to See, the crew has its doubts about this undertaking, but Catherine Deneuve, who plays herself, simply says: 'Je veux voir.' After which the well-known Lebanese actor Rabih Mroue ('My name means "Spring"') drives her past ruins, shot-up villages and endless plains of rubble. In the meantime, he confesses to her that he knows whole passages of her dialogues by heart. Slowly, a bond emerges between the two.
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige previously made A Perfect Day (2005). I Want to See is, just like Our Beloved Month of August, a film within a film. It looks as if Deneuve has agreed to take part in the film and the makers basically don't yet know what they're going to do. In the meantime, the directors play a subtle game with the viewer. An official bans them from filming beside a destroyed building, the crew jumps into view when Mroue drives the car into a suspected minefield, we sometimes see the world from the car and sometimes we look into the car. The change in perspective increases the distance between the characters and reality and leaves the viewer with the question: Is there room for art in such a devastated world?

Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige
Countries of production
Lebanon, France
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
International title
I Want to See
French, Arabic
Edouard Mauriat, Georges Schoucair, Tony Arnoux
Production Companies
Mille et Une Productions, Abbout Productions
Films Boutique
Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige
Julien Hirsch
Enrica Gattolini
Sound Design
Guillaume Le Braz, Sylvain Malbrant, Emmanuel Croset
Scrambled Eggs
Rabih Mroué, Catherine Deneuve