White King, Red Rubber, Black Death 0+

Peter Bate, Belgium 2003, 90 min

When the first Belgians arrived in the Congo in 1880, they began to write one of the darkest chapters in the history of this African country. During the next several decades, as a result of unbelievably brutal colonization led by Belgian King Leopold II, over ten million innocent civilians were killed. Foreshadowing the Nazi concentration camps, a number of work camps were established where the prisoners had only one task: to extract from the surrounding trees as much rubber as possible, the sale of which would finance the magnificent palaces in Brussels and was behind the economic blossoming of Belgium. Leopold's paid mercenaries committed unprecedented crimes against the native population of the Congo. Director Peter Bates, in his brilliantly directed reconstruction of the colonization of Congo, uses unique archival material as well as stylized scenes from a fictitious court in which the actors put into the mouths of various diplomats and missionaries testimonies from that time period about the extent of the genocide in Congo.

 

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