Kongo: 50 Years of Independence

Kongo: 50 Years of Independence

Kongo is a documentary series in three episodes that focuses on the colonization of the largest country in Central Africa, Congo, whose destiny was out of ordinary. This movie series offers an original and new perspective on that region, drawing on the historiography and using the latest methods of docudrama movie.

Episode 1: THE UNBRIDLED RACE
Director: Samuel Tilman
Country: Belgium
Year: 2010
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: French and Lingala with English subtitles

Through the eyes of French, Portuguese, Belgian and African pioneers, this introductory episode retraces the first major phases of Congo’s colonial occupation. From the Portuguese arrival in the XVI Century until the XIX Century, at height of King Leopold II’s sovereign kingdom, from the slave trade to the rubber trade, this episode delves into the inner-workings of this bloody conquest, as described by insider witnesses.

Episode 2: THE GREAT ILLUSION
Director: Daniel Cattier
Country: Belgium
Year: 2010
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: French and Lingala with English subtitles

In 1908, under sharp criticism, Leopold II reluctantly cedes the Congolese Independent State to Belgium. Over the course of the next fifty years, both colonists and indigenous, each on opposite sides, build the Congolese “nation”. This second episode examines both European and African historical figures, sometimes unknown, that shaped history through their ideas and actions. Each figure tells his or her experience of the events that shaped a significant chapter of the 20th Century history.

Episode 3: THE FAILED GIANT
Director: Jean-François Bastin and Isabelle Christiaens
Country: Belgium
Year: 2010
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: French and Lingala with English subtitles

Patrick Emery Lumumba, Congo’s first prime minister, was assassinated during the turbulent times of the independence movement. He is the voice of this third episode. This ephemeral yet immortal hero passionately tells the story of his country’s history from 1960 until 2010, from Joseph Kasa-Vubu to the United Nations at the Monuc. This last episode describes the challenges of building a nation upon the rubble left behind by colonial alienation.

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