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28 May 2023: Julius-Amédée Laou: Short, Sharp Shocks


With his first film Open Mic Solitaire and its follow-up Mist Melodies in Paris, the Afro-French filmmaker Julius-Amédée Laou delivered a stunning one-two salvo in the name of Black diasporic liberation. Featuring a brand-new restoration, Julius-Amédée Laou: Short, Sharp Shocks brings these unforgettable works together in the presence of their director.

Open Mic Solitaire
Julius-Amédée Laou, 1983, 18 min

A young artist, Mathieu, receives news that his older brother, Bruno, has been gunned down in Paris by the far right. Stricken with grief and rage, Mathieu sets off with his girlfriend, Karine, to a Caribbean radio station, where they take the occupants hostage. Mathieu takes to the airwaves, determined to speak directly to his community and shake it out of its complacency.

Mist Melodies in Paris
Julius-Amédée Laou, 1985, 24 min
New restoration

In Mist Melodies in Paris, Richard, a traumatised veteran of the war in Algeria, wanders the streets of Paris, lost in his memories. Suddenly things take an unexpected turn, as fiction and reality collide.

Followed by Julius-Amédée Laou in conversation with Jonathan Ali.


Julius-Amédée Laou is a filmmaker, playwright, theatre director and writer. Born in Paris into a Martinican family, he directed the short films Open Mic Solitaire and Mist Melodies in Paris before directing two feature films: The Old Sorceress and the Valet (1987) and Zouk, Marriage and Ouélélé! (2004). Laou has authored more than thirty stage plays, including Folie ordinaire d’une fille de cham (1984), which was adapted into a film by Jean Rouch.

Julius-Amédée Laou: Short, Sharp Shocks is curated by Jonathan Ali and organised in partnership by Open City Documentary Festival and Twelve30 Collective. With special thanks to: Léa Morin, Annabelle Aventurin, Steve Macfarlane and TALITHA.