Peter Krüger’s creative documentary N – The Madness of Reason is selected for the Forum of the 64th International Film Festival of Berlin (6-16 February). Both musically and visually inspiring, the film reconstructs the story of a man whose life ended at the letter N.

NWith its International Forum of New Cinema, commonly known as the Berlinale Forum, the International Film Festival of Berlin presents its most daring section of films. Avant garde, experimental works, essays, political reportage and yet-to-be discovered cinematic landscapes find their way into this part of the programme. As is Peter Krüger’s N – The Madness of Reason, which is to receive its world première at the renowned festival.

The documentary recounts the story of the Frenchman Raymond Borremans, who left cold 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.

His restless spirit now drifts around West Africa, caught between life and death, past and present. Into whose dream has he fallen? 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 disappointed, shattered and thrown. His encyclopaedic mind – bent on drawing borders, on definitions and categorizations – finds the contingencies of reality less easy to cope with. Yet Borremans’ spirit yearns to complete his unfinished task.

Nigerian author Ben Okri wrote the texts for N – The Madness of Reason; Michael Lonsdale is the narrator. Abiba Sawadogo, Vieux Farka Touré and Hamadoum Kassogue form the main cast. Principal photography was done by Rimvydas Leipus, while Nico Leunen (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Kid, The Invader) edited the film.

Peter Krüger directed and produced N – The Madness of Reason for production company Inti Films (Drift, Kinshasa Kids, Desert Island). The documentary could count on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.

Published on Wednesday 15 January 2014