09 20 Oct '24
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Augure (Omen)

90' - 2023 - Drama - Dialogue: French
Director: Baloji With: Eliane Umuhire, Lucie Debay, Marc Zinga, Yves Marina Ganhoua
In Baloji's mesmerising feature-length debut we follow so-called 'devil children' who, banned from their social circles, engage in a fiery battle to throw off that hellish label.
An energetic and empathetic group portrait exploring the weight of Congolese belief systems.

After some striking shorts, multitalented Baloji - musician, actor, costume designer, art director and cinematographer, among others - conquered Cannes this spring with his feature debut Augure. In this energetic and empathetic group portrait, he explores the weight of Congolese belief systems on the fate of four characters accused of being witches and sorcerers. Augure is an ensemble film that counts on the talent of, among others, Eliane Umuhire (Neptune Frost), celebrated theatre actress Yves-Marina Gnahoua and Marc Zinga (Tori et Lokita) as Koffi. The beginning of the film coincides with a return: Koffi decides to go back to his homeland to introduce his pregnant wife (Lucie Debay) to his family. More than an uplifting reunion, the meeting turns out to be a hellish experience - a fever dream that culminates in an exorcism scene reminiscent in pace and intensity of Jordan Peele's Get Out (2017).

Baloji's characters, carrying labels that exclude them from society, must confront traumas deeply rooted not only in their personal and family pasts, but also in Congo's wider, fragmented history. For instance, the steadfast belief in the occult of many of Augure's characters alludes to the populist ideology of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled Congo between 1965 and 1997. It is no coincidence that witchcraft is a major source of inspiration in Baloji's work. In Swahili, his name first meant "man of science", but in colonial times it changed to "man of occult sciences/witchcraft". For the Belgian-Congolese filmmaker, his loaded name is both a burden and a driving force for a playful approach in his broad artistic work. Augure fully embodies that duality and reinforces it through its choices in terms of costumes, soundtrack and editing. Blending genres, Baloji creates a phantasmagorical scenes of mesmerising beauty that make Augure a more than memorable debut.

“Baloji’s curiosity translates into confidence as a director. He leans into a kinetic visual language and associative sequencing, bringing the nonlinear and energetic style of his shorts to Omen. […] As in Zombies, Baloji’s associative transitions reward close attention. […] These tracking shots give the film a propulsive sense of motion. That constant feel of forward movement coupled with energetic music (composed by Liesa Van der Aa) and intricate costume design (Elke Hoste, Baloji) make Omen easy to be enthralled by. The film feels like a mixtape - a collage of samples organized by the director’s eclectic taste." - The Hollywood Reporter

Image gallery

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Eliane Umuhire, Lucie Debay, Marc Zinga, Yves Marina Ganhoua


Baloji, Thomas van Zuylen

Director of Photography

Joachim Philippe


Bertrand Conard, Bruno Tracq


Benoît Roland


Wrong Men, New Amsterdam Film Company, Tosala Films, Serendipity Films, Radical Media, Special Touch Studios, Sudu Connexion, Big World Cinema

Production studios

Anonymes Films


Imagine Film Distribution

More information



Countries of production

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium, South Africa, The Netherlands, Germany




Peau de Chagrin/Bleu de Nuit (short, 2018), Kaniama Show (short, 2018), Zombies (short, 2019), Augure (2023)

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