GERMANY / FRANCE / NETHERLANDS – 2011 – 91 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN FRENCH, GERMAN, DUTCH, BASSE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
A FILM BY ULRICH KÖHLER
Ebbo and Vera Velten have been living in Africa for a long time. Ebbo is managing a sleeping sickness program. His work is fulfilling. In contrast, Vera feels increasingly uncomfortable with her life in the expat community of Yaoundé and the separation from her daughter Helen, 14, who is attending boarding school in Germany.
Ebbo has to give up his life in Africa or he loses the women he loves. But he has become a stranger to Europe. His fear of returning increases from day to day.
Years later. Alex Nzila, a young French doctor of Congolese origin, travels to Cameroon to evaluate a development project. He hasn't been to Africa for a long time. But instead of finding new prospects, he encounters a destructive, lost man: like a phantom, Ebbo slips away from his evaluator.
Ulrich Köhler was born 1969 in Marburg /Germany and lived in Zaire (now Dem. Rep. of Congo) with his family from 1974 to 1979. He studied Fine Arts in Quimper/ France, Philosophy in Hamburg and later on Visual Communication at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (Diploma 1998), where he made his first short films.
His feature films “Bungalow” (2002) and “Windows on Monday” (2006) were successful at numerous festivals and won national and international awards, including the German Critics Award for Best First Feature in 2003.
"SLEEPING SICKNESS never tries to 'reoccupy' Africa. Its light touch is that of a respectful visitor, not a smug conqueror."
- THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
"kind of brilliantly à propos."
"visuals that never fail to put their message across"
- NOW MAGAZINE