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Kongo is a documentary series in three episodes that examine the colonization of the Congo, the largest country in Central Africa whose destiny was out of the ordinary. Using the latest methods of docudrama filmmaking, Kongo draws on the region's historiography to offers an original and new perspective.
Episode 1: The Unbridled Race
Directed by Samuel Tilman
Through the eyes of French, Portuguese, Belgian, and African
pioneers, this introductory episode retraces the first major phases
of the 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, and 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
Directed by Daniel Cattier
In 1908, under sharp criticism, Leopold II reluctantly ceded the
Congolese Independent State to Belgium. Over the course of the
next 50 years, both colonists and indigenes, each on opposite
sides, built the Congolese "nation." This second episode
examines the European and African historical figures, sometimes
unknown, who 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
Directed by Jean-François Bastin and Isabelle Christiaens
Patrick Emery Lumumba, the Congo's first prime minister, was assassinated during the turbulent times of the independence movement. He is the voice of this third episode. An ephemeral yet immortal hero, he passionately tells the story of his country's history from 1960 to 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.