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still from La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, FR 1967)

La Chinoise

Jean-Luc Godard / FR, 1967 / 96 min.

A year before the 1968 Paris unrest, Jean-Luc Godard shot La Chinoise. 'An astounding and, to a great extent, prophetic pamphlet', wrote one of the critics for NRC Handelsblad [Dutch broadsheet] when the film reached Dutch cinemas in 1970.

poster La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, FR 1967)
At the close of the 1960s, renowned nouvelle vague director Jean-Luc Godard was suffering from an artistic crisis. How to carry on in politically turbulent times?

Around 1967, the word commitment was not only written in capitals, but translated into action: students climbed onto the barricades, occupied universities and demanded participation, grassroots democracy and liberation from bourgeois attitudes. Beneath the sidewalk, the beach! Ne travaillez jamais! Homo ludens would swap work for play and free love was the antidote to the hypocritical morality of marriage.

Stylistically daring

Godard followed the path set out by his new muse, actress and student activist Anne Wiazemsky, making La Chinoise with her a year before the huge student revolts of May ’68 in Paris and Nanterre. His depiction of young radicals inspired by Mao's Little Red Book was a daring experiment; a surprising mix of fiction film, political analysis, pamphlet and documentary. La Chinoise is a visual tour de force, shot in pulsating primary colours – especially highly appropriate red.

Permanent revolution

Nouvelle vague icon Jean-Pierre Léaud appears in the film as the actor Guillaume; Senegalese Omar Blondin Diop (1946-1973) plays himself as an erudite Maoist preaching permanent revolution. Filmmaker and artist Vincent Meessen dedicated an idiosyncratic documentary to this Black activist: Juste un mouvement, which screens before La Chinoise.

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Persons under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult


Jean-Luc Godard

Production year




Original title

La Chinoise


96 min.







Part of

Eye on Art

Eye on Art is a programme on the intersection between film and other arts. Eye on Art keeps up with current events, with presentations on contemporary artists and programmes that coincide with important exhibitions, manifestations and Eye activities.

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still from Cloacinae Serge Onnen & Sverre Fredriksen, NL 2017)
still from La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, FR 1967)
still from La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, FR 1967)
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