Open City Documentary Festival

Soul in a White Room + Just A Movement

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Soul in a White Room 
Simon Hartog | 1968 | UK | 3’ | digital

The film begins with a pair of female hands stroking the back of a man wearing a white jumper. A second shot reveals the woman’s bare bottom being caressed by the man’s hands. The man is Omar Blondin Diop, briefly in London to participate in Jean-Luc Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil alongside Frankie Dymon and members of the British Black Panthers. During this period, Diop also associated with LFMC figures such as Simon Hartog and David Larcher and wrote a text on Andy Warhol for the Co-op’s journal Cinim.

Just a Movement
Juste un mouvement
Vincent Meessen | 2021 | Belgium, France | 111’ | digital

A hybrid essay film that attempts to draw a portrait of the Senegalese activist and intellectual Omar Blondin Diop, who died in unexplained circumstances in the prison of Gorée off the coast of Senegal in 1973. Diop had been one of the leaders of the student protests in Paris in May 1968 and appeared in Godard’s La Chinoise in the role of the Maoist instructor. His life and death have remained a potent symbol of the revolutionary struggle in Africa. Meessen takes La Chinoise (also screened at this year’s festival) as a point of departure and as a methodology to build a complex, multi-layered work from witness accounts, re-enactments, archival documents and contemporary footage. Blending documentary and fictional strategies to place Diop’s legacy into perspective, Just a Movement radicalises Godard’s idea of “a film in the making.”


In partnership with Wallonia-Brussels International

With an introduction by Olivier Marboeuf, co-producer of Just a Movement


Olivier Marboeuf is an author, performer, curator and film producer. He is the founder of the Espace Khiasma center (www.khiasma.net), which he directed from 2014 to 2018 in the Lilas, in the suburbs of Paris. In Khiasma, he developed a program focusing on minority representations and post-colonial situations through screenings, debates, performances and collaborative projects in the north-east of Paris. His lyrics intersect with poetic fiction and speculative theories. They are interested in the place as a form of presence and the body as a landscape. Drawing on the imagination and literature of the Caribbean as much as in the mythologies of the suburbs, Marboeuf explores ways of making sensitive the history that is imprinted in the minority bodies and the narrative of the wandering communities. His recent texts are published on the blog: https://olivier-marboeuf.com/