Juste un mouvement

Vincent Meessen

Single channel, stereo, color, 45 min, HD
Belgium-France, 2018.

Commissioned by Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, Paris
in collaboration with
Argos center for art & media
CNAP image/mouvement
Region Brittany
Spectre productions
Flanders Film Fund (VAF)
Produced by Jubilee

Juste un mouvement (‘just a movement’) is Vincent Meessen’s free take on La Chinoise, the 1967 film by Jean-Luc Godard, and a “film in progress of making itself” in Dakar. It is conceived as a re-editing operation of Godard’s film, reallocating its roles and characters, and updating its plot. Omar Blondin Diop, the only actual Maoist student in the original, now has the leading role.

Juste un mouvement harnesses the “methodology for practical works” and the “lessons of things”, Godard’s preferred pedagogical and aesthetical methods. The lesson is no longer the singular lesson given by Omar to his comrades in La Chinoise, but those, plural, offered here: first, a lesson in Mandarin about the cinema of La Chinoise. Secondly, a tai chi lesson, both martial art and a philosophy of life. And last but not least, the lesson learned from the dead-ends of the past.

Shot exclusively with non-professional actors and including Omar Blondin Diop’s brothers, everyone in this film plays their own role. A wandering poet, a young Chinese laborer working in Dakar’s Chinatown, the Minister of Culture of Senegal and the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China visiting the Museum of Black Civilization, a project devised by the President Senghor in the mid-sixties and recently made possible thanks to Chinese financing.

Juste un mouvement is at once a finished film in its own right, and a prefiguration of a future longer film.