You can certainly say that about her other film at the festival, Je Veux Voir (I Want To See). In an absorbing mix of fiction and fact, Deneuve plays herself – or at least a version of herself – as she travels to Lebanon to see the devastation of the war that broke out in the country in July 2006. Much of the film consists of her travelling with a local actor (Rabih Mroue) by car to the area. Such is the naturalistic style that it’s as if Deneuve is starring in an Abbas Kiarostami film. “I felt that I had to play myself but not as Catherine Deneuve,” she says. “I had the impression I was in between myself as a person and myself as an actress.”
Deneuve is quietly political – in the past she has also protested in favour of abortion and against the death penalty – and it’s not the first time that she has got involved in a film about the Middle East. Last year in Cannes she was one of the voices in Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical animated film Persepolis.
Subscribe to The Iranian newsletter
Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the top news stories delivered to your inbox.