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AWARDS:
* Buzz Wilson Prize for BEST AVANT GARDE FILM
    - Traverse City Film Festival
* Second Prize of the TRT Documentary Awards
* Magic Hour Award - Docs Against Gravity



Elephant’s Dream

Category |Economy, History, Human Interest, Politics, Religion, Social Issues
Year | 2014
Country | Belgium
Running time | 72’ - 52’
Format | HD
Production | Associate Directors, Man’s Films, Roast Beef Productions & Limerick Films
Director | Kristof Bilsen


ELEPHANT’S DREAM is a portrait of three state-owned institutions and their workers in DR Congo. The interwoven stories of Henriette, a female post-office clerk in the dilapidated Central Post Office, colleagues Simon and Nzai at the railway station and the group of firemen in the only fire station give an insight into their daily lives and survival in the third largest city of Africa, Kinshasa.

Their world is so different from ours, yet at the same time so familiar and universal. Together we question how this society copes with the current states and how it could see a revival. Through the main characters we feel and see what the impact is of foreign powers and how little there might left for the Congolese to be managed. The narrative is both symbolic for the characters personal development but also embodies the wider perspective of an era of Modernisation and privatisation of the Congolese State.

Although these three government-owned institutions are running on their last legs, the film allows for a surprisingly poetic and empathetic look at a State in decline. Yet, it also makes us witness the little but apparent moments of change and revolution and functions as a mirror to what is happening in the Western world.

REVIEWS:
The Hollywood Reporter (Boyd Van Hoeij) – “An extraordinary documentary.”
Examiner.com (Christina Strynatka) – “A dreaminess washing over the viewer. 5 Stars
Scenecreek – “A striking meditation on finding resilience” 4/5 stars
INDIEWire Shadow & Act - ”Incredibly beautiful.”
CinemaAxis - “Honest” (Review by Jess Rogers)
The Globe and Mail - (Review by Liam Lacey) – “Eloquent, enigmatic” 4/4 Stars
Canada International Council (10 Foreign Affairs Doc to look out for) 2015 HotDOCS
The Toronto Film Scene - Review 2015 HotDOCS
INDIEWire - 8 documentary discoveries from Hot Docs 2015

Elephant's Dream is a necessary addition to the Pantheon of Documentaries about the Congo.
  - IndieWire

Elephant's Dream masterfully creates a dreamlike listlessness, sad and funny, that gently hints at great historical tragedy. A beautiful film.
  - Joshua Oppenheimer, Act of Killing/The Look of Silence

Elephant's Dream feels urgent when we find ourselves in our own hindering institutions. Here, we unite.
  - onewomeanarmuy.ca

PRESS IMAGES: (click to preview)

                 

TRAILER :






Director Kristof Bilsen

completed a filmmaking BA in Brussels (2002) and then worked as a cinematographer, editor and director in contemporary theatre and dance, where he collaborated with Peter Missotten, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Meg Stuart, amongst other artists. He also co-directed several plays and dance performances for youngsters.

His television documentary Three Women, a film about female detainees in Ghent prison, was shortlisted for the Henri Storck Prize in 2005. In January 2010, he was selected to attend a workshop tutored by Werner Herzog in Los Angeles. He then studied at the prestigious National Film and Television School (UK) where he graduated with top marks doing his Masters in Documentary Direction.

His previous work includes the short and graduation films: Three Women (Nominated in Belgium’s Henri Storck Awards), Parallel Lives, The Perfect Belgian (Best of Fest, One World Romania) White Elephant (Audience Award, Dinard Film Festival and Nanook Grand Prize, Jean Rouch International Film Festival). With Elephant’s Dream Kristof signs for his first independent feature length documentary.