EN - The story of Frenchman Raymond Borremans, who left Europe for Africa in the mid-20th century and devoted his life to the creation of the first encyclopaedia of this new world. But, by the time of his death, he has only reached the letter N. His restless spirit now drifts around West Africa, caught between life and death, the past and the present. An African woman who helps restless spirits find peace tries to lead him towards his destiny, but his encyclopaedic mind finds the contingencies of reality less easy to cope with.

FR - N -The Madness of Reason retrace l’histoire d’un homme dont la vie s’arrête à la lettre N. A travers le personnage pittoresque de Raymond Borremans, le film suscite la confrontation entre son esprit agité et l’Afrique de l’Ouest.


Title N - The Madness of Reason
Original title N - The Madness of Reason
Original language French, English, local African languages
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Docs
Genre creative documentary
Year 2014


Cast Michael Lonsdale, Fatoumata Diawara, Abiba Sawadogo, Hamadoun Kassogue, Vieux Farka Touré
Photography Rimvydas Leipus
Editing Nico Leunen
Sound Ludovic Van Pachterbeke, Benoit Bruwier
Music Walter Hus
Vocals Fatoumata Diawarra
Line producers Wim Steeman, Vincent 't Sas, Jules Debrock
Steadicam operator Jules Debrock
Narrator Michael Lonsdale
Text Ben Okri

Technical specs

Running time film 98'
Release format Arri Alexa
Other available formats DCP
Aspect ratio 16:9
Sound format 5.1
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Dutch Film Fund (NFF), Communauté Française, ZDF/ARTE, VRT, DGOS, Eurimages
Production partners Daniel de Valck (Cobra Films), Jos & Wink de Putter (Dieptescherpte) and Meike Martens (Blinker)
Tax shelter partners Mollywood


2015: Pune International Film Festival (IN), Fuzhong 15 Taipei (TW), Annual European Union Film Festival (USA), FebioFest (CZ), Afrika Film Festival (BE), Lasalle Festival International du Documentaire Cévennes (FR)

2014: Berlinale - Forum (World Premiere) (DE), Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK), Vilnius Film Festival (LT), Sarajevo Film Festival (BA), Cambridge (UK), New Taipei City Film Festival (TW), African Film Festival in Oslo (NO), Vancouver International Film Festival (CA), RIDM (CA), Cinemigrante (AR), Film Fest Gent (BE), Film Africa (UK), MiradasDoc (ES), 3 Rivers Film Festival (USA), Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijon (ES), Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (TN), Cinémavérité (IR), Kerala (IN)


2014: Signis Jury Award for the best Film in Competition - Cine Migrante International Film Festival (BR)

N – The Madness of Reason, Waste Land main winners at the Ensors

Pieter Van Hees’s crime thriller Waste Land and Peter Krüger’s poetic docu-drama N – The Madness of Reason were the main winners at this year’s Ensors, the awards celebrating Belgian cinema from Flanders, taking home four and three Ensors respectively.

N - The Madness of ReasonWaste Land won Best Script, Best Supporting Actor (Peter Van den Begin) and Best Supporting Actress (Babetida Sadjo). Waste Land’s success was not a huge surprise, as the film also had the highest number of nominations. But it was the docu-drama N: The Madness of Reason that grabbed the top honour: Best Film.

Published on Sunday 20 September 2015

Waste Land and Paradise Trips lead Ensor noms

Waste Land by Pieter Van Hees and Paradise Trips by Raf Reyntjens are the frontrunners for this year’s Ensor awards. The winners will be announced on at a gala closing the Ostend Film Festival on 19 September.

Waste LandWaste Land tops the list with a spectacular 13 nominations (inc. Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Jérémie Renier) and Best Actress (Natali Broods)), followed by Paradise Trips with nine nominations (inc. Best Director, Best Script and Best Actor (Gene Bervoets)).

Published on Thursday 20 August 2015

Spiritual destiny

Brussels based producer-director Peter Krüger's decision to explore the limits of fiction and documentary took off in 2011 with his first feature- length documentary-fiction, the award-winning Antwerp Central. it was on the cultural, historical and symbolic life of Antwerp’s monumental railway station. This year's Berlinale Forum unveils a project the director has been working on since 2005:N - The Madness of Reason. Krüger describes it as his first cinematographic combination of documentary and fiction.

Peter KrügerBorremans’ view of the world is shaped by a typically Western way of looking at things which is closely bound up with the need to categorize. His obsessive attempts to classify and objectify, to create frameworks, names and definitions, reflect his desire to force reality into compartments.

Published on Tuesday 25 February 2014

N – The Madness of Reason invited to Berlinale Forum

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.

Published on Wednesday 15 January 2014

No reality without fiction

Peter Krüger’s Films can be seen as fiction constructed from documentary or documentaries shot in the language of fiction. I’ve always been on the border between these genres,’ he says. ‘And I’ve discovered that it is a very interesting place to be as a filmmaker.

nfimagA cinephile from a young age, he postponed going to film school in favour of studying philosophy. 'I thought: I need content,' he recalls. After graduating he skipped fi lm school once more, setting up the production company Inti Films with fellow would-be director Peter Brosens. Although Krüger's inspiration up to that point had come from fiction, his first projects were documentaries. 'I had the feeling that with documentary I could immediately start making films myself.' This made him to look at the possibilities offered by factual filmmaking.

Published on Thursday 16 May 2013

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Last edited on 10 August 2015

Short info

Director Peter Krüger
Producers Peter Krüger
Writers Peter Krüger

Inti Films
Peter Krüger
Werfstraat 2
1000 Brussels
T +32 (0)485 11 78 18
T +32 (0)499 25 81 18


Loïc Magneron
9, Rue Bleue
75009 Paris
T +33 (0)1 53 95 04 64

Website nthefilm.com
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