Scene from the film Elephant's Dream
Scene from the film Elephant's Dream
Scene from the film Elephant's Dream

Elephant's Dream

  • Belgium
  • United Kingdom
Audio Tracks 

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 might seem different from ours, but is surprisingly familiar and universal. Together with them, 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 be 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 globalisation and privatisation of the Congolese State set against the backdrop of brutal Belgian colonial times and its postcolonial violence of power that still reigns today.

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


  • Original Title
    Elephant's Dream
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Kristof Bilsen
  • Cinematography
    Kristof Bilsen
  • Editing
    Eduardo Serrano
  • Music
    Jon Wygens
  • Sound
    Yves De Mey
  • Runtime
    74 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Belgium
    • United Kingdom
  • Festivals
    • Dok.Fest Münich (Germany)
    • Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada)
    • IDFA (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    • DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (Finland)
    • Milano Film Festival (Italy)
    • Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival (New York, NY, USA)
    • Taiwan International Documentary Festival
    • Dokufest (Kosovo)
    • Cinéma Vérité - Iran International Documentary Film Festival (Tehran, Iran)
    • Cork Film Festival (Ireland)
    • Addis International Film Festival (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
    • Docs Against Gravity Film Festival (Poland)
    • Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival (USA)
    • DocPoint Tallin (Estonia)
    • Zimbabwe International Film Festival (Zimbabwe)
    • FOKAL - Fondation Connaissance et libertés (Haïti)
    • Talking Peace Festival (London, United Kigdom)
  • 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 is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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