Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Oct 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Elephant’s Dream

With Kristof Bilsen. Double feature with The Iron Ministry. Debut of UnionDocs Surround Sound System.

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 civil 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. – Eli Horwatt (HotDocs)

Festivals & Awards

TRT Documentary Awards – WINNER 2nd Best International Documentary

Docs Against Gravity – WINNER Magic Hour Award

DocPoint Helsinki – WINNER From You to YLE Audience vote

Margaret Mead Film Festival (NY Premiere)

Congo in Harlem (NY)

EthnoFilmFest Muenchen (DE)

Festival International Ânûû-rû Âboro (New Caledonia) – in competition

Inconvenient Films Human Rights Fest Vilnius – in competition

ZIFF (Zimbabwe – Harare) – in competition

Africa International Film Festival AFRIFF (Nigeria)- in competition

Camden International Film Festival (in competition) – US Premiere

Milano Film Festival – State of (T)Error

DOKUFest Prizren (Kosovo) (International Documentary Competition)

East End Film Festival London – UK Premiere

Frontline Club London – Preview Screening 9/2/15

Addis International Film Festival (Ethiopia)

HOTDOCS Toronto North-American premiere in World


Elephant's Dream

37 min., 2014 << this is where you put the format, timing, year, and other details provided for an element of the program

Elephant’s Dream takes us beyond the usual reports of the Congo, to provide poetic and compassionate insight into a country in transition, as seen through the microcosm of three state-owned institutions and its public sector workers in the third largest city in Africa, Kinshasa, a railway station, the central post office and the only existing fire station. At times surreal, at times hopeful, this film will reveal a truly surprising perspective on lives lived beyond chaos.

Kristof Bilsen (director/DOP/producer) completed a filmmaking BA in Brussels (2002). He also works as cinematographer, editor and director for the performing arts and collaborated in the past with directors such as Peter Missotten, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Meg Stuart. His first film Three Women (about female detainees in a Belgian prison) was shortlisted for the Henri Storck Prize and shown twice on Belgian National Television. He also made the short  documentary Fez-return-ticket, about a mixed marriage in Morocco before beginning his Masters  at the National Film and Television School. He enrolled for the Werner Herzog Film Course in Los Angeles and also attended the Berlinale Talent Campus 2012.  Elephant’s Dream, his first feature film, is a co-production with Limerick Films, Associate directors, Man’s Films and RTBF and is currently traveling festivals worldwide. His work screened at more then 50 festivals worldwide (IDFA, DOK Leipzig, Hot Docs, Margaret Mead, Thessaloniki, a.o.) and won several awards, such as the Nanook/Jean Rouch Grand Prize in Paris. Along with his film practice, he is one of the 8 founding members of Kitchen Sink collective and also runs his boutique company Limerick Films.


Oct 24, 2015
7:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
+ Google Map

Support UnionDocs’ next phase and new building by becoming a member

Peek in the window of our bustling building in NYC and tune into the ideas and energy bubbling up from the UNDO Center.

Tune into cutting-edge, powerful and poetic documentary programs and connect to conversations with the artists and thinkers passing through.

Now available at the Apple Store.



Unlimited access to all of our monthly offerings for the price of two espressos.



Keep it simple and save. Unlimited access to our sweet offerings for a reduced, annual fee and receive some added benefits.



In the neighborhood, a working artist, student or senior? This membership is for you. Fill out a quick form for a discount code to an annual membership.



Get all of the benefits of the Annual UNDO Membership plus an annual subscription to UnionDocs Editions, a set of publications, merchandise or special objects.

UnionDocs is grateful for support from:

UnionDocs is hiring. 

Join the UnionDocs team.

Pod Pod 2023 Group 02

Pod Pod is now accepting applications.
Apply today!

Calling all AUDIO MAKERS looking for a bit of motivation, peer support, collective production and a dose of inspiration for your personal project —  join us for 3 months this Fall!