After Satrapi's Persepolis French Star Sets Eyes on War Torn Beirut in Upcoming French Lebanese film
Catherine Deneuve in "Je Veux Voir" ©imdb.com
It seems that French Stars are drawn to the Orient in recent years. Juliette Binoche is to team up with Abbas Kiarostami in an upcoming film by the Iranian film Maestro and Marjane Satrapi's film Persepolis includes a prestigious cast of French actors including French Star Catherine Deneuve. The latter has been the quintessential symbol of French elegance and feminity for more than four decades. Currently on tour to promote her film Persepolis she has nevertheless had the time to shoot a short documentary-fiction film playing her own role in a French Lebanese production directed by Lebanese directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
Catherine Deneuve mother hero in Iranian director
Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" ©imdb.com
"How can we render the
realities of terrible war in Lebanon in the light of the recent air strikes
that took place in this country last july. How can we continue to make films in
these conditions and still believe in the power of films to change the world ?
We decided to imagine a movie, rather a cinematographic experience, where a
beautiful women who also happens to be a film icon and great actress would come
to Lebanon. Our Lebanon, she would meet our favorite film star
today. Together they decide to go to southern Lebanon
an SEE for themselves what it looks like. Through their eyes we can also see
what our pain looks like and what it feels like to live here.
For us the only person
capable of being this person was Catherine Deneuve. We wrote this film for her
not knowing that she would accept it. She was our gift come true ... "
- Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige
More on the film in the following article ( in French )
Female Solidarity: The beautiful Female Director/actor Nadine Labaki
film "Caramel" was this year's critically acclaimed Lebanese film
and Ghassem Salhab's Terra Incognita boldly explores sexual taboo
in contemporary Lebanon ©imdb.com
In recent years Lebanese film directors have been at the forefront of some of the best films made in the middle East today. Exploring issues often taboo such as sex, the role of women and their struggles to live or simply survive in a country that has been at crossroads between civil war, terrorism and short era's of Peace. An irony for a country with a long history founded by the Phoenicians and which was considered as the Switzerland of the Middle East.
Lebanese directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
©imdb.com & Clarence Elie-Rivera/Getty Images for TFF
Like Iran before the revolution, Lebanon was considered as an Island of Stability where foreign investments and tourism flourished at a fast pace. Maybe too fast as is often the case in times of economic growth. So goes the saying "When the money keeps rolling in, you don't ask why ? Think of all the happy Good times Now". Euphoria has certainly given place to disillusionment for an entire generation and for many young Lebanese as is the case for the Iranian youth in Iran. However Art and particularly films have probably become the most powerful tool against intolerance, ignorance and blind hate between people regardless of nationality, sex or race. As Marjane Satrapi expressed in a recent interview in regard to her film Persepolis: " If after seeing my film people realize that this unhappy Iranian girl could be anyone of us in the same situation, then Vincent ( Parronaud) and I have achieved our goal though this movie."
So maybe there is Hope after all ...
VIVE LA DENEUVE & VIVE LE CINEMA !
Official website of Lebanese directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
BBC report on The Rise of a New Wave Lebanese and Arab Cinema in recent years
On Famous Lebanese Americans Community and Stars
VIVE LA DENEUVE ! French Star Gets Life Time Achievement Tribute at AFI by Darius KADIVAR
Persepolis To Represent France at the 2008 Oscars by Darius KADIVAR
Iranian Pioneers in French Cinema by Darius KADIVAR
About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant.
... Payvand News - 12/17/07 ... --