• GNCR Award


Vincent Meessen

In Just a Mouvement, Vincent Meessen continues to explore the reverse angles and off-camera scenes of political imaginaries and western narratives he examined in Un. Deux. Trois. (2015), which offered a new angle on the Situationist International mythology as seen from Kinshasa. This time, the pivot is Jean- Luc Godard’s La Chinoise, shot in Paris in 1967 and starring Anne Wiazemski as a student and Jean-Pierre Léaud as an actor, but also, during a lecture on “Perspectives of the European Left”, featuring Omar Blondin Diop, a young, militant philosophy student, unknown in film circles. Shooting in Dakar, Meessen chooses to scatter the perspectives, conducting an investigation enriched by the memories and insights of friends and relatives, filmed to create an impression of timelessness, and gradually revealing Omar, now a key figure. In a play of mirrors and ellipses, Meessen also brings in images, eras and schools of thought from the militant Maoism of 1960s Paris and Dakar, as well as showing today’s large Chinese community living in Senegal. He creates a fertile dialogue between La Chinoise and present-day Senegal, where contemporary images resonate with sounds from Godard’s film and vice versa, sometimes using its intertitles, or interweaving a shot, or even a sequence, such as the one on the train where Felwine Sarr’s thoughts replace those of Francis Jeanson. We’re reminded of La Chinoise’ famous aphorism that “it is necessary to confront vague ideas with clear images” – and here, it’s not through a just movement, as a Senegalese Shaolin master says, but just a movement, again echoing Godard in Wind From the East. Through consummate skill in the editing and unfolding narratives, teeming with borrowings and condensed indirect commentary, the film achieves a real shift of perspective.

(Nicolas Feodoroff)

  • GNCR Award

Technical sheet

Belgium / 2021 / 110’

Original Version : Chinese, French, Wolof.
Subtitles : English, French.
Script : Vincent Meessen.
Photography : Vincent Pinckaers.
Editing : Simon Arazi.
Sound : Laszlo Umbreit.
Production : Geneviève de Bauw (Thank You & Good Night productions), Olivier Marboeuf (Spectre).
Filmography : Quelle que soit la longueur de la nuit, 2020. Ultramarine, 2018. One.Two.Three, 2015. Clinamen Cinema, 2013. Vita Nova, 2009.