Amsterdam 2004: Main competition IDFA Joris Ivens Award
Utrecht 2005: ‘Golden Calf', Best Photography
Sichuan 2005: ‘Golden Panda’, most innovative documentary
In ECHOES OF WAR, the story of a little elephant who lost his father in a jungle war catapults children, survivors of war and violence in Afghanistan, New York, Colombia and Sierra Leone, to share their memories, nightmares and dreams.
Though continents apart and without knowledge of each other these children have grief, courage and hope in common. 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 of whom even the pictures were burned. In Sierra Leone a family on their way to a well is attacked, leaving a girl behind who has no idea what the rebels were fighting for. A boy in the Colombian jungle dreams of becoming a doctor. A girl in a besieged city is determined to become president of her country and outlaw all weapons.
The children reveal their stories and dreams by their response to the animated tale of 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 grows into a sensitive portrayal of the consequences of war and violence.
Joop Van Wijk
Liesbeth Worm (animation)
Melle van Essen
Jan Dop CSC
Joop de Jong