Focusing on two films by Jean-Luc Godard that feature the work of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, this essay analyzes the rhetorical effects of Godard’s choice to subtitle, translate, or speak over Arabic speech and highlights Godard’s decades-long working relationship with the translator Elias Sanbar, who also translated Darwish’s work from Arabic into French. It argues that both filmmaker and poet in Notre musique (2004) are engaged in autoquotation in that Godard is alluding to his earlier films, particularly to Ici et ailleurs (1976), his extensive “rethinking” of his 1970 trip to film the Palestinian intifada, and in that Darwish restates his published commentary from the 1990s in a staged interview with an actress playing an Israeli journalist. It analyzes as well the political implications of Darwish’s poetry being recited in English translation by Native American actors in Sarajevo’s destroyed library.

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