Just a Movement
Juste un mouvement
What kind of man was Omar Blondin Diop? The kind that believes in radical change, who would dedicate his life to the cause, and, ultimately, die for it. Born in Senegal but educated in the Marxist cauldron of Nanterre in the mid-1960s, Omar was an activist who proselytized about Mao, playing a version of himself in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 masterpiece, La Chinoise. Six years later he would be dead, officially a suicide, in Senegalese state prison.
Vincent Meessen’s film is an interrogation of the too-short life of this passionate intellectual militant, the circumstances of his death, and much more than this, the contemporary relevance of Marxist ideas, of the dialectics of La Chinoise, and how the politics of Africa is still shaped and scarred by colonialism, capitalism, and corruption. Belgian visual artist Meessen takes his inspiration from Godard’s film, and fashions Just a Movement as a freeform remake, or rather a cover version, this time with Omar at its heart. The imagery is stunningly rich, the ideas complex, compelling, and on point.
Please note this film can only be viewed in Canada when streaming on VIFF Connect.
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Vincent Meessen was born in Baltimore, USA, and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. In his work as an artist and filmmaker, he uses procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives. His films have been screened at numerous museums and art centres including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), and Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), and in film festivals including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, and FID Marseille. Meessen is a member of Jubilee, a platform for research and artistic production.