Elephant´s Dream

Netherlands 2014 | 74 Min. | OmeU
Q&A with:
Simone Catharina Gaul

After a lengthy and dev­as­tat­ing civil war in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC), the cap­i­tal city of Kin­shasa is rebuild­ing. Through the eyes of three civic work­ers strug­gling to recon­struct the foun­da­tion of the city’s public ser­vices, we wit­ness a tale of nation­al transformation—at a snail’s pace. Driven by des­per­ate ambi­tion, postal worker Hen­ri­ette faces a system defined by stag­na­tion, even as she rises through its ranks. With ram­shackle equip­ment, a fire­fight­er is forced to watch as every­thing he helped build burns to the ground. Mean­while, opti­mistic rail­way worker Simon stands guard over an unused rail station—unsure of what he is pro­tect­ing. Their sto­ries allow direc­tor Kristof Bilsen to offer a rare look at the DRC, filled with poetry and absur­di­ty that is brim­ming with com­pas­sion­ate insight. Elephant’s Dream is a modern mas­ter­piece that is not to be missed. - Eli Hor­watt, Hotdocs

 

The film is a lesson in resilience, devo­tion. An ode to the invin­ci­ble obsti­na­cy, full of poetry reflect­ing the after-effects of Mubutism – show­ing how in a dis­as­trous­ly gov­erned, yet orga­nized chaos, one’s mental hygiene man­ages to pre­vail.” (Baloji)