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Kristof Bilsen

Elephant's Dream

Film - Documentary | April 16 | 6-8 p.m. | 180 Doe Library


Kristof Bilsen, Filmaker, Director, Co-Producer

Dr. Ann A. Laudati, Ciriacy-Wanthrup Research Fellow, Department of Geography, UCB; Adam Clemons, Librarian for African and African American Studies, UC Berkeley Library

Center for African Studies, Free Speech Movement Café Educational Programs, Department of Geography


Set in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Elephant's Dream is a breath-taking documentary that captures the daily lives of Congolese street-level civil servants in Kinshasa and Bas-Congo. Kristof Bilsen's documentary is a long overdue testimony to the courage of the men and women who, against all odds, continue to build society and resilience.

Neglected by conventional portrayals of this vast country nested at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, these stories reveal the complexities, ambiguities and challenges of living in a postcolonial nation marked by widespread conflict, political crises and economic collapse. Taking Henriette, the post office counter clerk, Simon, the train station officer and Lieutenant, the chief fire fighter out of international oblivion, this documentary successfully achieves the feat of taking its viewers far beyond the habitual clichés and into the tough path of a self-reflexive voyage.

Kristof Bilsen (Director, Co-Producer) completed a filmmaking BA in Brussels (2002) and then worked as a cinematographer, editor and director in contemporary theatre and dance. 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 work has been awarded, amongst other things the Grand Prize Nanook /Jean Rouch in Paris. He is also co-founder of the Kitchen Sink Collective in London.

Sponsored by the Free Speech Movement Cafe; Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies and the Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley

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