First Elections

Belgium 2006, Experimental, 14' | Director, Screenplay, DoP Sarah Vanagt | Editor Inneke Van Waeyenberghe | Sound Pete Connelly | Production Balthasar vzw/asbl | Distribution Argos

Bébé Rico und Bébé Elegance are two animated babies who perform a dance to advertise baby soap on Congolese TV. The general public, however, view the ads as having a hidden political message: Bébé Rico is seen as President Joseph Kabila, Bébé Elegance as Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba. Children do the soap dance too and, in the mud, play out the balance of power with toys made from recycled rubbish. Their play-acting develops into a kind of opinion poll on the political climate in the border region between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ruanda, this just a few weeks before the first democratic elections following independence.

First Elections is the film version of "Les Mouchoirs de Kabila", a video installation.


Sarah Vanagt was born in 1976. She studied history at the universities of Antwerp, Groningen and Brighton and then documentary film at the London National Film and Television School. Her films and installations have been shown at numerous festivals and exhibitions in the Netherlands, the USA and the UK. Sarah Vanagt lives and works in Brussels.

Sarah Vanagt
Experimental, Short Film