“Visually stunning – beautifully shot, languid and composed.” (Jury IDFA 2011 Student Docs)

“Beautifully-composed and shot, meditative and even poetic; certainly not the pulsating vision of post-war DRC(..). I’m curious about the feature certainly, and it’s now officially on my watch list.” (INDIEWIRE)

Somebody passed by one day:  ‘Mama, does the Post really work? If I leave this letter with you, will it ever arrive?’
I told him: ‘of course it will’.  He started laughing. ’I know for sure it will never reach its destination.’

(ENG )The Central Post-Office  and its employees in Kinshasa, DR Congo. A grandiose relic of the colonial past  has trapped its employees in a frozen timewarp  from which they are planning their escape. From past to present, through the cracks in the walls,  and leaks in the ceilings, we glimpse present-day Congo.

(FR) La Poste centrale de Kinshasa, grandiose relique coloniale, a piégé ses employés dans un passé figé duquel ils rêvent de s’échapper. Du passé au présent, à travers les fissures des murs et les fuites des plafonds, nous entrevoyons le Congo d’aujourd’hui.  (Grand prix Nanook – Jean Rouch – CNRS Images ’12)

Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Kristof Bilsen
Editor Eduardo Serrano
Sound Designer George Lingford
Composer Jon Wygens
Musicians Jon Wygens, Dizzy Mandjeku, Junior Mthombeni
Online-editor and Color Grader: Dillan Nicholls

The film was supported by Pascal Decroos Fund (Belgium).
feature documentary inspired on this short,  is currently in post-production.

Festivals and Awards

2013:
ZagrebDOX – Home of the Brave

2012:
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (Gr)
Cinema Novo (Bruges/BE)
6th Addis International Film Festival (Ethiopia)
London International Documentary Festival (UK)
Zomer Van Antwerpen (BE)
Maysles Institute / Cinema (Harlem/NY) – “Congo in Harlem”
31th Jean Rouch International Film Festival (Paris/FR) – Winner Nanook/Jean Rouch Grand Prize

DocHouse screenings (London) – Riverside Studios & Hackney Picturehouse.
A section of the film was re-scored live by the “Cabinet of Living Cinema” on an evening “Making Tracks” at the RichMix.

2011:

Visions du Réel Doc Outlook Market
Raindance Film Festival (UK)
Margaret Mead Film Festival (NY)
Quadrangle Film Festival (Kent-UK)
FRONTDOC Aosta
In competition – IDFA 2011
In competition – Festival dei Popoli (IT)
Audience Award – Best Short Film – Festival de Dinard (FR)

Press

Drôle et émouvant, sa maîtrise du cadre, des témoins et du rythme impressionne.
(Franglaisreview.com)

It conveys the bizarre rituals of normality.
(Christopher Hird, founding chair BRITDOC, trustee of Grierson Trust)

As close to a poem as a film could be. Very clear, yet very enigmatic.
(Olly Lambert, producer/director)

“After seeing so many dialogue- and noise-driven films, the silenced and slowly paced “Nzoku ya Pembe”, is a blessing. Director Kristof Bilsen made good use of the media’s own qualities in image and sound, by showing lots of atmospherics and stripped-off sound. This is what David MacDougall (2009) would define as the ‘composite’ quality of the image. Or, an image is always multi-layered, which Bilsen clearly established. At the same moment you see not only how many people there are in a space, but get to learn the physical distance between that defines the characters. Therefore you also get to appreciate the quality of the space. Where dialogue or text would require pages to explore these ambiguous space-time qualities, the images of the characters within these area’s, show in less than a minute what could have happened and at the same time it allows for the other elements to tell the story. Apart from that,  Bilsen also allows enough space for humor transforming the tragedy into something credible and bearable.”

(Steef Meyknecht, jurymember 31st Jean Rouch International Film Festival)