Congo Calling

20th September 2020



International contest

Brief Synopsis:

In crisis-ridden eastern Congo, three European development aid workers are forced to question what it means to help. A Spanish economist realizes that he is leading his Congolese colleagues into great temptation with his project funds. A German aid worker is resisting retirement after 30 years in Africa. And the relationship of a young Belgian is put to the test when her Congolese boyfriend becomes a high-profile regime critic. Deeply personal insights into the question: how helpful is the help of the West?


Directed by: Stephan Hilpert
Production: Stephan Hilpert & ZDF-Das Kleine Fernsehspiel
Producer: Lilian Dammann
Editing: Miriam Märk
Cinematography: Daniel Samer
Running time: 90’
Country: Germany
Year: 2019

Director’s note:

I have been friends with Raúl, one of the subjects of the film, for a long time. He kept telling me about his work in eastern Congo, the location of the deadliest conflict since the Second World War. Many development aid workers from the Western world work here – and many of them have great doubts about their own role. Soon it became clear that we had to make a film about the complex and ambivalent relationship of us Europeans to this place and its people. What attracts us to go there, what are we looking for? What do we do to this place, and this place to us?
Stephan Hilpert