Just a Movement takes Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 film La Chinoise as its starting point, reallocating its roles and characters, and transferring its questions and historical legacy from Paris to contemporary Dakar, Senegal. Filmmaker Vincent Meessen’s take on Godard’s film offers a meditation on the relationship between politics, justice, and memory, through a political and poetic inquiry into the legacy of Omar Blondin Diop, the Maoist student and militant who played himself in La Chinoise, later dying in a Senegalese prison in 1973. Using interviews with Diop’s brothers and friends, and scenes from – and inspired by – La Chinoise, Meessen constructs an interplay between history and cinema, past and present, all while recognising the complex relations between China and Africa that inflect the situations depicted. What emerges is an exploration of Diop’s enduring legacy in Senegal; one that exceeds the bounds of a typical biographical portrait.
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French, Chinese, Wolof