Regarding France and Lebanon: Transnational encounters, Cinéma-monde, and Hadjithomas and Joreige’s autofictional trauma cinema

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Abstract

This article takes the autofictional trauma cinema created by Lebanese artists and film-makers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige in their Je veux voir (2008) as a case study that demonstrates the potential value of a film-analytical methodology grounded in the concept of cinéma-monde. A Franco-Lebanese co-production starring Catherine Deneuve, Je veux voir occupies a hybrid generic position between documentary and fiction, and may be considered as a rare example of cinematic autofiction. Deneuve’s participation, along with the associations conjured up by her cinematic star-image, allows Je veux voir to interrogate the nature of the ongoing relationship between France and Lebanon (Lebanon being France’s former protectorate). It also allows for an ethical approach to bearing witness to the war trauma that Lebanese people have suffered in recent decades, whilst avoiding the ethical traps of falsely totalising and distorting narratives embedded in existing audiovisual discourses that might, conversely, generate greater transnational audience appeal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Romance Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • autofiction
  • trauma
  • cinema
  • France-Lebanon relations
  • Catherine Deneuve

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