Soundtrack to a Coup d'EtatJohan Grimonprez

1961. The Belgian and American governments join forces to maintain their power in Congo. In the aftermath of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the CIA deploys jazz artists as a distraction from Western interference in post-colonial African politics. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, jazz and decolonization thus become inextricably linked.

Soundtrack to a Coup d'Etat contains a wealth of archival material: from audio memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, to excerpts of Andrée Blouin, a forgotten pioneer of female emancipation and independence in Africa. This powerful film about jazz as a secret weapon won the Special Jury Award for Cinematic Innovation at the prestigious Sundance film festival.

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Artist in focus Johan Grimonprez

The rave international reviews of his latest film do not lie: Johan Grimonprez is renowned worldwide as a video artist who knows how to interweave exceptional visual material with a profound social analysis in a highly creative manner. His feature debut Dial H.I.S.T.O.R.Y had its world premiere in 1997 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and became a major festival hit. Double Take (2009), Shadow World (2016), Blue Orchids (2017) and Soundtrack to a Coup d'Etat (2024) each confirmed his unique talent. As Artist in Focus, DOCVILLE will show a compilation of his work and the director will bring a Master Talk to the festival.

Belgian selection

DOCVILLE presents the best Belgian documentaries of the past year in a very varied selection: compelling stories about people who live for their passion, whether it be cycling, circuit riding or mermaids, but also socially probing stories about illegal adoption, the dangers of criticism under Putin, the link between jazz and decolonization or the abominable conditions in Vorst prison. Finally, there are also films with a more philosophical angle on the transience of the human body or the impact of imaging. The best film may call itself the winner of the Jury Prize for Best Belgian Documentary.

Historical documentary Politics Visually stunning

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The screening of 20.03 is part of the opening night of DOCVILLE


Directed by Johan Grimonprez
2024 150 min.
French, English, Dutch, Russian
Subtitles: English


Artist in focus Johan Grimonprez | Belgian selection


Johan Grimonprez

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(beschikbaar vanaf 20.03)