Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2012
Vierge, les Coptes et moi (La)
Namir Abdel Messeeh
Titre anglais : Virgin, The Copts And Me (The)
Date de sortie en France : 29/08/2012
Pays concerné : France
Réalisateur(s) : Namir Abdel Messeeh
Durée : 85
Genre : comédie
Type : documentaire


Namir part en Egypte, son pays d’origine, pour faire un film sur les apparitions miraculeuses de la Vierge au sein de la communauté copte chrétienne. Bientôt, l’enquête sert de prétexte pour revoir sa famille, à la campagne ; et pour impliquer tout le village dans une rocambolesque mise en scène… Entre documentaire et autofiction, une formidable comédie sur les racines, les croyances… et le cinéma.

Un film de Namir Abdel Messeeh

France/Qatar/Egypte 2012, 1h25 Min. · Format HDCAM · Couleur. Langues: Français, Arabe – Sous-titres: Anglais, Français

LA VIERGE, LES COPTES ET MOI – Bande-annonce VF par CoteCine

Namir Abdel Messeeh

Anne Paschetta
Nathalie Najem
Namir Abdel Messeeh

Image : Nicolas Duchêne

Son : Julien Sicart

Montage : Sébastien De Sainte

Oweda Films
Namir Abdel Messeeh
Pantin, France
+33 1 46216168
[email protected]

Doc&Film International
Daniela Elstner d.elstner[at]docandfilm[dot]com
Tél. +33142778965
Email: [email protected]

Sophie Dulac Distribution
16, rue Christophe Colomb – 75008 Paris
01 44 43 46 00

Eric Vicente : 01 44 43 46 05
[email protected]

Vincent Marti : 01 44 43 46 03
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Olivier Depecker : 01 44 43 46 04
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Annie Maurette – 01 43 71 55 52 – [email protected]


2012 | 18ème édition Visions du Réel, Nyon, Suisse – 20 > 27 avril 2012
* Section: Etat d’Esprit

2012 | Festival de Cannes 2012
* Sélection ACID

2012 | Festival de Berlin 2012
* Section Panorama

2012 | Festival du Film de la Rochelle 2012
* Sélection

2011 | Festival de Belfort EntreVues
* Lauréat Films en Cours 2011


Namir is a French filmmaker of Egyptian origin. One day he watches a videotape of the Virgin Mary’s apparition in Egypt with his mother who, like millions of other Copts, (Egypt’s Christians) sees the Virgin on the screen while he sees nothing. Skeptical about the videotape, Namir travels back to Egypt, to make a film about the bizarre occurrence of these apparitions.

Namir’s mother is a Coptic Christian. She is convinced that she can see an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a video tape originating from her home in Egypt. Her son, who has been raised in a secular environment in France, decides to make a film about the phenomenon and travels to Egypt to visit his relatives. Hoping to understand the connection between appearances of the Virgin to the Copt minority and recent events in Egyptian history he soon discovers plenty of obstacles. Firstly there are his parents who interfere in the film and criticise his ideas; then there’s his French producer who wants to change the film every few weeks and finally, the inhabitants of his family’s Coptic village. Desperate, Namir decides to create his own version of the Virgin Mary’s appearance. To realise his plan he will need to enlist the aid of the villagers and his mother; the latter soon joins him in Egypt and proves to be remarkably capable.
A humorous fictional documentary and family-drama-cum-culture-clash about religion in the diaspora, the art of cinema and the boundless creativity of the filmmakers. Making good use of his mother as the film’s wonderful main protagonist, this directorial debut charmingly and wittily exposes the manipulative aspects of documentary filmmaking.

France / Qatar / Egypt 2012

by Namir Abdel Messeeh / Feature Documentary / France / 2011 / 85 min / Color / HDCAM
In Arabic, French / English, Arabic subtitles

Namir Abdel Messeeh

Interests: Religion, Family, Identity

Namir Abdel Messeeh

Namir Abdel Messeeh, Nathalie Najem, Anne Paschetta

Namir Abdel Messeeh

Isabelle Manquillet

Nicolas Duchene

Namir Abdel Messeeh, Siham Abdel Messeeh


Born in France of Egyptian parents, I’ve always kept close ties with
my family in Egypt, ties that are all the stronger because we belong
to the Christian minority, the Copts, who are being persecuted more
and more each day.
I don’t share the religious beliefs of my community, and this has been
a source of conflict between my family and me for a long time. In
Egypt, as is often the case in Arabic countries where religion is part
of one’s identity, it’s impossible to argue about religious beliefs. But
it is precisely because this question of believing is at the very core of
my relationship with my family and appears to be indissociable from
what we are, how we define ourselves, I wanted to make a film about
religious beliefs and more specifically about that of the Copts in the
apparitions of the Virgin Mary.
I wanted to investigate what still ties me to this community where I
no longer live and with which I no longer share the religious beliefs.
But a film can sometimes take one where you least expect it to. The
relationship with my producer, my mother’s opposition, the Egyptian
revolution have made me discover what I really wanted to recount:
the path I’ve followed as a filmmaker, my relationship with my
mother and the inhabitants of my village, my ties to Egypt.
The goal was not to make a film about myself, but rather to use my
persona as a filmmaker as a vector, as a means for those around me
to reveal who they are.

a film by Namir Abdel Messeeh La Vierge, les Coptes et Moi

I wanted to show the poor country folk of Said where my family is
from. People who never draw the attention of the media, and for
whom the revolution doesn’t mean much – their conditions for just
staying alive being extremely precarious. But these people are rich
with humor, with a joy of life and a generosity that irremediably ties
me to them.
I also and above all wanted to recount something profound about
Egypt: the relations between Christians and Muslims, the role of
women in society, the manner in which political powers use religion
to maintain their positions, all while keeping it light, amusing.
This is my first feature-length film. I’ve tried a lot of things, some
with success, others with failure. With this film I’ve sought to walk
the line between fiction and documentary, mixing scenes captured
live with scenes tightly written, sometimes reshooting scenes that
had already taken place with some of the characters and sometimes
filming other scenes without their knowing it.
The production of this film was very complicated, most likely due
to a lack of resources, but also because of my determination to find
a way to write the script progressively, as the shooting and editing
work advanced.
But I have had incredible luck because I have been surrounded by a
team of extraordinary technicians who trusted me and backed me up.
Tell me they were right to do so!!!

Doc & film international
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Tel + 33 (0) 1 42 77 56 87
Fax + 33 (0) 1 42 77 36 56
[email protected]
Daniela Elstner
+ 33 6 82 54 66 85
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alice damiani
+ 33 6 77 91 37 97
[email protected]
Hwa-Seon Choi
+ 33 6 59 21 70 00
[email protected]

Oweda Films
Namir Abdel Messeeh
Pantin, France
+33 1 46216168
[email protected]

Sophie Dulac


Doha Tribeca Filmfest
* World Premiere

Berlinale 2012


Namirs Mutter ist eine koptische Christin. Sie ist überzeugt, dass sie
auf einem Video aus ihrer ägyptischen Heimat eine Erscheinung der
Jungfrau Maria gesehen hat. Ihr Sohn, der säkular in Frankreich aufgewachsen
ist, will über das Phänomen einen Film drehen und reist zu
seinen ägyptischen Verwandten. Er will den Zusammenhang zwischen
der ägyptischen Zeitgeschichte und den Marienerscheinungen
der koptischen Minderheit aufzeigen. Doch es gibt diverse Hin der –
nisse: seine Eltern, die sich in den Film einmischen und seine Ideen
kritisieren, sein französischer Produzent, der alle paar Wochen Änderungen vorschlägt, und nicht zuletzt das koptische Heimatdorf selbst.
In schierer Verzweiflung beschließt Namir, seine eigene Marien er –
schei nung für den Film zu inszenieren. Aber dazu braucht er die Hilfe
der Dorfbewohner und seiner Mutter, die, eigens angereist, am Set
un geahnte Fähigkeiten offenbart.
Eine dokumentarische Familien- und Culture-Clash-Kömodie über
Religion in der Diaspora, die Kunst des Filmemachens und die Kreati –
vi tät der Mitwirkenden. Mit seiner Mutter als wunderbarer Haupt dar – stel lerin entlarvt der Regisseur in seinem Langfilmdebüt die filmischen Manipulationen des Dokumentarfilms mit Humor und Charme.

Frankreich/Katar/Ägypten 2012, Länge 85 Min. · Format HDCAM · Farbe

Regie: Namir Abdel Messeeh
Buch: Namir Abdel Messeeh, Nathalie Najem, Anne Paschetta
Kamera: Nicolas Duchene
Schnitt: Sebastien De Sainte Croix
Ton: Julien Sicart, Gwennole Leborgne, Roman Dymny
Musik: Vincent Segal
Co-Produktion Doha Film Institute, Katar

mit Siham Abdel Messeeh, Namir Abdel Messeeh

Oweda Films
Pantin, Frankreich
+33 1 46216168
[email protected]

Doc & Film International
Paris, Frankreich
+33 1 42775687
[email protected]