Comrades in Dreams

Director: Uli Gaulke
Screenwriters: Jeannette Eggert, Uli Gaulke

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


The lights dim. The surface in front of you brightens. Sound and image fill the space. You are watching a film in a theatre, with all the enjoyment that brings. Proving that decades of film theory can't be wrong, Comrades in Dreams travels the world in a documentary valentine to the pleasures of cinema.

In a world dominated by cookie-cutter multiplexes, formulaic filmmaking, and commercial imperatives, filmmaker Uli Gaulke embarks on a journey to celebrate the noncommercial essence of the cinematic experience by discovering and exploring the most alternative, "independent" strain of cinema owners and their film communities he can find.

Employing a finely tuned narrative sensibility and stunning use of film, Gaulke, a former projectionist and cinema owner himself, interweaves stories spanning four continents, from a traveling Indian tent cinema to a North Korean "film club," from a Wyoming woman's dedication to her local cinema group to an open-air cinema in Burkina Faso, the world's poorest country. In this poetic evocation of their lives, he captures a sense of the universal humanity that the fundamental act of "cinema" evokes in each of his characters. As we watch Comrades in Dreams, we remember what brought us to film in the first place.

— Cara Mertes

Screening Details


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]