Amsterdam 2004: Main competition IDFA Joris Ivens Award
Utrecht 2005: ‘Golden Calf', Best Photography
Sichuan 2005: ‘Golden Panda’, most innovative documentary
ECHOES OF WAR is the story of a little elephant who lost his father in a jungle war. The story catapults children, survivors of war and violence in Afghanistan, New York, Colombia and Sierra Leone, to share the memories, nightmares and dreams of their experiences.
Though continents apart and without knowledge of each other these children share the common experiences of grief, courage and hope. A Colombian boy takes us down the road where his hand disappeared. In New York, two girls tell us about their father, who worked on 'too high' a floor of the World Trade Centre. We meet a girl in Afghanistan who struggles to remember her father since even his pictures were burned. In Sierra Leone, a family on their way to a well is attacked, leaving behind a daughter with no idea what the rebels were even fighting for. A boy in the Colombian jungle dreams of becoming a doctor. A girl in the besieged city of Kabul is determined to become President of her country and outlaw all weapons.
The children reveal their stories and dreams in their response to being read the animated tale of the book about a little elephant who tries to find the courage to cope with the death of his father. While they identify with the plight of the little elephant, we discover that they are the real heroes, far beyond the politics and rhetoric of statesmen, terrorists or soldiers.
By interplaying the children’s life stories with the animated tale of the little elephant, ECHOES OF WAR is a sensitive portrayal of the consequences of war and violence.
Joop Van Wijk
Liesbeth Worm (animation)
Melle van Essen
Joop de Jong