What can film do?

This week premiere have been taken over from the cinema screens of the Cannes International Film Festival into the distribution of the DAFilms portal. I Want to See tells story of living in the shadow of fear and expectation of salvation; story about the threat of violence and the desire for freedom; story of thwarted plans and resurrected hope.

I Want to See / Straddling the line between the documentary and fiction genre, the feature-length documentary follows legendary French actor Catherine Deneuve who acts as herself in the film. Deneuve comes to Lebanon to attend a charity event on the support of war victims. She expresses her wish to learn more about the cheerless condition of the land afflicted by the Second (or also July) Lebanon War. “Although I don’t know whether I’ll understand everything I still want to see it,” says Deneuve, setting out to the dangerous excursion to South Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestine border in the company of her driver, enacted by Lebanese artist Rabih Mroué. Deneuve portrayed herself in a similarly creative way as John Malkovich did in Being John Malkovich, however, with an essentially smaller portion of self-irony and black humour with respect to the theme. Her character becomes a kind of an icon, materializing the very idea of (film) art. Behind the genre experiment, there is a desperate effort to find an answer to the weighty question asked by artists since time immemorial in difficult moments of collisions with the unpredictable cruelty of history. Is there something art (film) can do? Will it find fragments of beauty even in the ruins of bombed out cities?

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