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Friday, October 23 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Elephant's Dream

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Kristof Bilsen

2014 | 74 minutes | Belgium, England, Democratic Republic of the Congo

New York Premiere | Director in Attendance


In Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the poetic stories of workers at three state-run institutions illuminate the struggle between the government’s “revolution of modernity” and the colonial legacy in Africa’s third largest metropolis. As a postal employee, two colleagues at a train station, and a group of firemen at the city’s only firehouse go about their routine, a nuanced portrait emerges of a country in transition. We see survival vying with boredom, government services on their last legs, and a pervasive breakdown of the basic structures of municipal life. Like characters in a Beckett play, the film’s protagonists wait: for change, for payment, for a fire to be extinguished. Amid the tedium, filmmaker Kristof Bilsen(White Elephant, 2011) finds small, hopeful flashes of change and revolution, and a sense of empathy that places the film’s protagonists in juxtaposition to their Western counterparts, slyly holding up a mirror to the developed world and questioning the usefulness of “modern” institutions. 

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Friday October 23, 2015 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Linder Theater

Attendees (3)