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N - The Madness of Reason

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As a young man, Frenchman Raymond Borremans (1906–1988) felt drawn to Africa – not as your common-or-garden colonist but rather as someone looking to get away from Europe. This experimental cinematic portrait draws connections between the unusual biography of this adventurer, musician and lepidopterologist and the Africa of the present day. Borremans’ reflections on and questions and observations about his Africa are modern, abstract, shrewd and personal: an unobtrusive voiceover interwoven with images and scenes from the present to create a filmic dialogue. The hotel lobby, the archive, the Niger River, soldiers, music, streets, smugglers, fearless animals making their way over hot concrete. Borremans made Ivory Coast his second home and compiled an encyclopedia there. It is here that the film finds the numerous traces Borremans left behind, people who knew him well. He apparently had premonitions of the madness that was to befall this rich West African country between then and now. N – The Madness of Reason is a radically complicated love story between him and Africa.

Belgium / Germany / Netherlands 2014, 102 min

by

Peter Krüger

with

Michael Lonsdale
Wendyam Sawadogo

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