Juste un Mouvement
A film by Vincent Meessen
“Omar is dead!”, a voice cried out in Dakar, 11 May 1973. The eldest of the Blondin Diop family, a young militant philosopher, and the articulate Maoist in Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise had allegedly committed suicide in his Gorée Island prison cell. His family and friends did not believe a word of it, demanding that light be shed on this political crime. A phantom haunts the Senegalese capital, itself in a state of unrest.
Juste un Mouvement is a free take on La Chinoise, a Jean-Luc Godard movie shot in 1967 in Paris. Reallocating its roles and characters fifty years later in Dakar, and updating its plot, this new version offers a meditation on the relationship between politics, justice and memory. Although not anymore alive, Omar Blondin Diop, the only actual Maoist student in the original movie, now becomes the key character.
Shot exclusively with non-professional actors and including Omar Blondin Diop’s brothers and friends, everyone in this film performs themselves: a filmmaker, a rapper, a poet, a Chinese worker, a Shaolin master, a Senegalese intellectual, the Minister of Culture of Senegal and the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China.
Single-channel HD Video, 108 min, sound & colour, Belgium-France, 2021
Status: World premiere at the 51st Berlinale Forum, 01/03 – 05/03/2021
For a full overview of past and future festivals and other screenings, see here
Cast: Alymana Bathily,Cheikh Hamala Blondin Diop, Dialo Blondin Diop, Ousman Blondin Diop, Bouba Diallo, Marie Thérèse Diedhiou, Felwine Sarr, Alioune Paloma Sall , Landing Savané, Marie-Angélique Sagna, Mame Awa Ly Fall, Doudou Fall, Mamadou Khouma Gueye, Fi Lu, Mbagnick Ndiaye, Madiaw Njaay,Thierno Seydou Sall, Malal Almamy Tall (Fou Malade), Li Yuanchao.
Director: Vincent Meessen
Assistant director: Mamadou Khouma Gueye
Director of photography: Vincent Pinckaers
Assistant camera: Artur Castro Freire
Sound engineer: Laszlo Umbreit
Editing: Simon Arazi
Colourgrading: Miléna Trivier
Image lab: Cobalt
Improvised music: Wouter Vandenabeele, Bao Sissoko
Sound design: Laszlo Umbreit
Sound mixing: Rémi Gérard
Executive production: Vincent Meessen, Inneke Van Waeyenberghe
The feature film was co-produced with Thank You & Good Night productions (B), Spectre productions (F) and Magellan films (B) with the support of Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, the 34th Bienal de Sao Paulo, Centre Pompidou musée national d’art moderne, Mu.ZEE, Centre Bruxellois de l’Audiovisuel, Région Bretagne, Image/Mouvement-CNAP, Argos centre for audiovisual arts, Art et Recherche and Tax Shelter of the Federal Government of Belgium.
Essays (in English)
Jochen Becker, Arsenal, June 2021
“What makes Meessen’s film so politically unique is how it traces the gradual superseding of Françafrique by Chinafrica.”
Bert Rebhandl, Arsenal, June 2021
“In 2021, as in 1967 or 1973, it remains necessary to clarify how certain struggles can be inscribed into the current geopolitical constellations.”
For an overview with links to all publications about Juste un Mouvement, see here