I can’t help but envy my friend and moviegoing mentor Darren Hughes, who had the opportunity recently to interview Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, two of the world’s greatest living filmmakers, about their latest film: The Unknown Girl.

I reviewed it a while back — it’s easily one of my favorites of 2017, and is currently playing in a limited theatrical release in the U.S.

IFC Films. Adele Haenel as Doctor Jenny Davin in The Unknown Girl.

Check out Darren’s revealing conversation with the masters responsible for so many Cannes-award-winning films, including The Son (Les Fils), a film I love so much that I try to find room for it in every film class I teach.

And — no surprise here — to listen to things they say about their films, even things they say casually, is to learn to pay attention in a new way. For example, this, from Jean-Pierre:

For the kinds of films we make, we have to have our ears open to what is happening in the world, what is happening around us. And we also have to listen to our characters. When we create characters we do not watch them from above. We try to be in tandem with them while they’re going through the experience. Our characters are not puppets that we’re manipulating from above.

The Dardennes, all along the way, have been teaching us how to see one another by striving to see their characters, scenarios, and worlds as clearly and as humbly as they can.