White King, Red Rubber, Black Death - of King Leopold II and the genocide he comitted in the Congo


White King, Red Rubber, Black Death (Belgium/Australia/Canada/Denmark/Finland/France/Germany/Netherlands/UK, 2003)

Seen: Monday, 20th April 2009 (cinema, Afrykamera festival)
Runtime: 84′
Director: Peter Bate
Production House: Périscope Productions, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Arte, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Interkerkelijke Omroep Nederland (IKON), Vlaamse Radio en Televisie (VRT), Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), Yleisradio (YLE), History Television, SBS Television, Danmarks Radio (DR)
Plot: (from imdb)

Documentary about how King Leopold II of Belgium acquired Congo as a colony and exploited it by reign of terror.

Video Material
There’s no trailer and I have no particular scene I want to showcase (there’s nothing that particularly stands out in my memory), but the whole film is uploaded on youtube at this time.

Impressions In Short
It’s a story that really needs to be told, but as a film this scores pretty low IMHO.

More About the Film
The film mostly has a news report-style with a few court scenes staged by actors here and there. It’s fairly standard TV stuff. And that, IMO, is about as much as is worth saying about the film itself :]
The subject matter, however, is mind-blowing. King Leopold II turned Congo into a huge labour camp which killed around half of the people living in the country. More people died in the Congo during that time than in the Nazi concentration camps. It’s a genocide that has largely been forgotten. If the film is to be believed, King Leopold is now remembered in Belgium as one of its best kings, even though by the end of his reign he was universally hated for the atrocities he committed.

Er… if this film is the only way you’re going to investigate the subject matter then I guess yes. Otherwise no.

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