N is a story of an unusual obsession. N recounts the story of the Frenchman Raymond Borremans, who left Europe for Africa in the mid-20th century. He devoted his life to the creation of the first encyclopaedia of this other world, dreaming of eternal recognition. He died, however, having only reached the letter N.
The Madness of Reason had its world premiere at the 64e International Film festival of Berlin (6-16 February). In 2015 the film won the Ensor Awards for Best Film, Best Editing (Nico Leunene) and Best Music (Walter Hus).
With his encyclopaedia incomplete, his restless spirit drifts around West Africa, caught between life and death, past and present. Why has he returned to the living? An African woman who helps restless spirits find peace, tries to lead him towards his destiny.
When confronted with civil war, he is shattered. His encyclopaedic mind – bent on drawing borders, on definitions and categorizations – finds the contingencies of reality less easy to cope with. This is the story of how he tries to complete his unfinished task from beyond death.
N is, both visually and musically, a truly striking film. It is a multi-layered audio-visual symphony of great narrative richness. And it turns on the reason and the madness that inspired Borremans’ monumental project. Hovering between dream and reality, this magical film plays on the confrontation between the Western mind and African spirituality.
Genre: Creative Documentary
Format: 1:1,85 / Colour
Lenght: 102 minutes
Orginal languages: French, Bambara, Dioula, Sénoufo, Songhoy, Agni
Subtitles: English, French, Dutch, German
Location: Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast
Writer/director: Peter Krüger
Text: Ben Okri
Narrator: Michael Lonsdale
Starring: Abiba Sawadogo, Vieux Farka Touré, Hamadoum Kassogue
Music: Walter Hus
Vocals: Fatoumata Diawara
DOP: Rimvydas Leipus
Editor: Nico Leunen
Producer: Peter Krüger
Co-producers: Daniel de Valck (Cobra Films), Jos & Wink de Putter (Dieptescherpte), Meike Martens (Blinker Filmproduktion), Guy & Wilfried van Baelen (Mollywood)
With the support of: VAF (Flemish Film Fund), Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie – Bruxelles, NFF (The Dutch Film Fund), ZDF/ARTE, Tax shelter of the Belgian government (investors Polydak, Coreswarem ramenconstructie, Herbeco NV en Dr. Joris Penders), EURIMAGES, The MEDIA Programme of the European Union
Partners: Canvas, SABAM
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