Streaming Access
Unfortunately, this film is not available for streaming yet.
As soon as it will be available for streaming, it will appear in your university streaming page.

Elephant’s Dream


ELEPHANT’S DREAM is a portrait of three state-owned institutions and their workers in DR Congo. The interwoven stories of a female post-office clerk in the dilapidated Central Post Office, two colleagues 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. We see a world so different from ours, whilst at the same time recognising the familiarity of the universal. How does this society cope with the current status quo and what promises does the future hold?


  • The Hollywood Reporter
    Three ordinary stories are combined in this quite extraordinary documentary’
    Boyd Van Hoeij
  • The Globe and Mail
    Kristof Bilsen’s eloquent, enigmatic portrait of a city and civilization in slow collapse is set in the city of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, focusing on three civic institutions: Henriette sings to herself and stares through the glass cage of her box-office window, Simon and Nzai hold court at the train depot, and an unhappy fireman sits on a chair at the city’s sole, ill-equipped station. Each of them ruminates, usually in voiceover, about their hopes and frustrations. Shot in a series of long, perfectly composed takes, Elephant’s Dream is suffused with an almost petrified calm. Though a rap song rails about the horrors of child soldiers, here in the city the talk is of Chinese investment and technological progress. The tone and style is that of a dream, frozen between the dark past and whatever the future might bring.
    Liam Lacey
  • Critics Associated
    Highly poetic, deeply insightful
  • Scene Creek
    A striking meditation on finding resilience
  • “Elephant's Dream masterfully creates a dreamlike listlessness, sad and funny, that gently hints at great historical tragedy. A beautiful film.”
    Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence)
  • “One of the most tender and intense films I've seen in ages, a true film d'auteur.”
    Hubert Sauper (Darwin's Nightmare, We Come as Friends)

Festival Participation

  • DOK Leipzig - Young Cinema Competition
  • IDFA - Panorama
  • DocPoint
    Winner, YLE Competition
  • Docville
  • HotDocs
  • DOK.fest Munich
  • Docs Against Gravity
    Winner, Magic Hour Award
  • Freiburger Film Forum
  • East End London Film Festival
  • Milano Film Festival
  • Inconvenient Doc Film Festival
  • Cork Film Festival
  • TRT Documentary Award
    Winner, Best International Doc

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

Back to Film Summary

This Week’s Featured Films