We must demand freedom and amnesty for our political prisoners. Minister to Haiti 1885-1886 , who had been commissioned by the Belgian government to tour the Congo and report back to the authorities in Brussels what immediate reforms should be employed to alleviate the deplorable conditions in the territory under control of Leopold. The good reverend did just that and it has been reasonably assumed that the report he gave to the Belgian government was not too appreciative for its candid and stern warning. Regrettably, Bate uses many of the tools of tabloid television in making his case, including heavy-handed reenactments, an ominous, sinister score, and overly dramatic narration delivered in a voice shaking with outrage. Though the 1905 report was suppressed, the damage was enough to force Leopold to hand over his private farm to the Belgian state three years later. William Sheppard, there was neither any attention nor even mention of his early concerns regarding the calamitous events in the Congo. The remaining films concluded their showings at the , located at 32 Second Avenue and 2nd Street, the venue at which the series began on November 26th and continues until Wednesday, December 8th.
He was given the Congo, the biggest slice of the African cake as his personal share because being the prime organizer of the criminal meeting, unlike the colonies divvied up among the rest of his assembled white compatriots. Soon after, representatives from Europe and the United States delivered the region --renamed the Congo Free State, later Zaire and now the Democratic Republic of Congo --into Leopold's rapacious care. Children's hands were chopped off as punishment for late deliveries. Reconstructed Congolese villages are burnt to the ground and the vicious punishments imposed are acted out as the documentary forces the visualisation of the crimes as a powerful counterpoint to the staid courtroom scenes. Leopold posed as the protector of Africans fleeing Arab slave-traders but, in reality, he carved out an empire based on terror to harvest rubber.
Himself - Director, Royal Museum for Central Africa. Most Belgians still believe the carefully nurtured image of King Leopold as a reformer who brought civilised order to Africa. To obtain it and have it shown to the public was a major coup for ArtMattan and they are to be congratulated for doing so. After some four months of travel towards Belgium, they are exhibited before a million visitors. The project was overblown, but necessary in the eyes of the first colonizers, who presumed to have tamed the far-flung savages. But all of this would pale in comparison to his reputation as a crusading Pan-Africanist missionary and human rights activist whose quest for social justice would lead him to the Congo to probe allegations that were being reported about the Congolese being oppressed. What the Belgians did in the Congo was forgotten for over 50 years.
Families were held as hostages, starving to death if the men failed to produce enough wild rubber. Yet, it is agreed today that the first Human Rights movement was spurred by what happened in the Congo. Meanwhile Congo's soldiers have never moved away from the role allocated to them by Leopold - as a force to coerce, torment and rape an unarmed civilian population. We are an organisation of people dedicated to the propagation and the dissemination of news and information relating to, and of importance to African Peoples worldwide. It continued another 52 years on up to the long awaited independence of the led by Prime Minister on June 30, 1960, which was usurped in less than three months when Lumumba's legitimate government was overthrown by a initiated by the governments of Belgium, France, Britain and the U,S. The brutality Bate uncovers is often viscerally powerful and disturbing, but the film might have been better served by a more dispassionate approach. With: With: Elie Larson, Roger May, Steve Driesen, Imotep Tshilombo, Annette Kelly, Maria Misra.
In fact, for over 50 years, few outside the Congo knew the truth-until some disturbing photos surfaced taken by missionaries. Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death is really a memorable film - the painfulness of what is described is counterbalanced by the great skill in the storytelling. The arbitrary division of the African continent solely among themselves, leaving only and the U. The Congo has been riddled with civil wars and dictatorships since gaining its independence. In this documentary an actor playing King Leopold sits stoically and listens to charges of genocide as the documentary weaves in historical fact, photographs and a very interesting story.
The extraordinary and tragic saga of 267 Congolese, brought to Brussels for the 1897 World's Fair. An elderly Congolese man states in the documentary, 'if you want to fight the white man where do you get the power. Since there were missionary reports that prior to the coming of the Europeans to the Congo, the specific cutting off of humans' limbs and other such maiming of people was unheard of. Those in other countries need to view it so that they can understand the historical wrongs Africans have been forced to undergo by non-Africans and how European white supremacists arrogates unto themselves the mantle of being civilized and the paradigm of virtue, with the right to do everything they just well please providing that they can gain profit and pleasure at our expense. It was several years before countries realized that they two had been duped in helping Leopold achieve his purely power driven goals.
If there is a critical piece of history that this film overlooks it is the role that Mark Twain played in the building of a mass movement against Leopold and his identifying the nefarious role of Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897, respectively. What the so-called civilized West European powers concocted at the Berlin Conference evolved into one of the world's most infamous criminal enterprises. The programme sets out to reveal according to its opening lines a 'cover-up of monumental proportions', and it is in this guise of an undercover investigation that the catalogue of torture and murder carried out in the Congo is highlighted. The programme takes an innovative approach to the documentary style, using mock court scenes where individuals who witnessed the brutal oppression in the Congo give testaments, as an elderly man dressed as King Leopold sits in the dock. John Harris Missionary in Baringa What is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo has clearly never recovered. Children's hands were chopped off as punishment for late deliveries. The dead were hastily dispatched in a common grave, sparking a fierce debate in Belgian society.
It also reminds me of a concept that used in one of his most important nonfiction books which concerned the same subject matter. Yet, it is agreed today that the first Human Rights movement was spurred by what happened in the Congo. Families were held as hostages, starving to death if the men failed to produce enough wild rubber. The programme also features interviews with representatives of the Belgian government, figures from the church in Belgium as well as British and Belgian historians. The national mythology in Belgium of Leopold as a father figure, demonstrated in the numerous public statues throughout the country, is seen as impeding the recognition of the crimes committed in the Congo. Bate does a commendable job combining traditional documentary techniques with some unusual touches.
Children and adults had their hands chopped off There is no doubt that Congo's history, and White King, Red Rubber, Black Death are almost too upsetting to bear, however Leopold did leave, albeit unwittingly, one positive legacy - the birth of modern humanitarianism. Stylistically it emotes a dark, somber background for the most part, with cameos appearances with academics providing historical analyses of what occurred two centuries back interspersed with apparently some actors dramatizing the writings of important voices of missionaries, colonial authorities and functionaries, describing the macabre occurrences that went on at Leopold's secret Crown Domaine, which could contain God only knows how many Belgiums; how the inventions of both the bicycle and the automobile initiated a massive need for the production of rubber and an even greater need to mobilize masses of people to tap rubber trees to satisfy the industry's production desires. The historical dramatization is told by a series of academics, religious personalities and political figures, some actually portraying themselves while others are assigned to represent those who have passed away because their contributions go back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the staging segues back and forth between the two periods. Not only that but there was a complete absence nor any mention of the significant role played by African-Americans, particularly two of the most prominent African-American allies of the Congolese human rights struggle from the U. Thus far, audiences have seen more than a week of a treasure trove of international cinematic documentaries, feature films, cartoons, drama or comedy to hundreds of filmgoers. This true, shocking, astonishing story of what the Belgians did in the Congo was forgotten for over 50 years. Hiding his greed behind the twinned fictions of charity and philanthropy, the king entered the Congo with the help of the explorer Henry Morton Stanley and quickly strong-armed tribal chiefs into signing away their future.