[act-ma] Thursday 6/21: "King Leopold's Ghost" - Free UPandOUT film screening
pfsoto at mynas.com
Fri Jun 8 22:47:20 PDT 2012
/King Leopold's Ghost/
Thursday, June 21st, in Cambridge [please download & distribute flyer
A two-hour journey into the real-life heart of darkness.
is a place where some of the worst atrocities known to man have been
occurring for well over a century - with the US, Belgium and other
western imperialist regimes playing key roles.
It's a terrifying story of appalling brutality. Beginning with King
Leopold II of Belgium's avaricious rape of the country and tracing the
impact of this horrifying and often-forgotten crime through to the
modern day, this immensely shocking doc is a heart-rending tale of a
rich country destroyed by rapacious hands. Imperialistconquerors were
determined to plunder this country of its natural resources, in the
process making slaves of the indigenous population.
The term "/crimes against humanity/" was coined by American minister,
lawyer and journalist George Washington Williams in 1890 after he
traveled to the Congo and witnessed first-hand the widespread torture,
abuse and murder that was taking place. Most of the world didn't know
about the corruption and heinous acts that were being committed by the
order of King Leopold, but the majority of those who did were either
involved and profiting from the Congo in some way, while the rest chose
to ignore and deny. Leopold's regime slaughtered an estimated *10 - 15
million Congolese* (1885 - 1908). Many millions more have died since then.
Filmmakers Pippa Scott and Oreet Rees explore the reprehensible legacy
of King Leopold II in this adaptation of Adam Hochschild's best-selling
book. The story chronicles Leopold's complex scheme of political
intrigue, corruption and propaganda to lay claim to the Congo Basin. In
April 1884, seven months before the Berlin Congress, the US became the
first country in the world to give Leopold a stamp of approval.The title
of the book, and movie, is adopted from the 1914 poem "/The Congo/", by
Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay. Condemning Leopold's actions, Lindsay wrote:
/Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost, / Burning in Hell for his
/Hear how the demons chuckle and yell / Cutting his hands off, down
"/The right hands, I counted 81 in all/", said Rev William Henry
Sheppard, an African American missionary, after seeing the hands of
Africans that had been severed for not meeting rubber quotas. This
government-sanctioned violence was all carried out with one aim, to make
profit. Joseph Conrad described what he saw in the Congo as, "/the
vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human
Narrated by a series of experts and actors who include Don Cheadle,
James Cromwell, and Alfie Woodard, Scott and Rees' film eventually turns
its attentions towards contemporary events that chillingly recall
Leopold's notorious endeavor.
In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the first legally elected prime
minister, vowing to bring true independence to the Congo - a direct
threat to colonial interests. By January 17, 1961, Lumumba had been
tortured and assassinated in a joint CIA-Belgium venture. The CIA's
front man, despot Mobuto Sese Seko carried out the CIA-inspired coup and
then began a brutal and corrupt dictatorship that lasted for the next 38
years - for which he was richly rewarded with vast wealth.
Mobutu was finally deposed but King Leopold's ghost continues to ravage
the rich Congo lands as various foreign-sponsored /"ragtag armies
marauded the countryside/". This vivid documentary offers an engrossing
insight into the grim colonial legacy that still haunts the Congo; the
extraction of wealth continues today. [See, for example, American
Companies Exploit the Congo
at Project Censored]
[Adam Hochschild's book was refused by nine of the ten U.S. publishing
houses to which an outline was submitted. It went on to become an
"/Lumumba's assassination is the most important assassination of the
20th century/" ~ Ludo De Witte, the Belgian author of */The
Assassination of Lumumba/*
/"It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to
propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the
Establishment spend any amount of money on arms./" ~John Stockwell,
former CIA official and author
243 Broadway, Cambridge - corner of Broadway and Windsor,
entrance on Windsor
Please join us for a stimulating night out; bring your friends!
free film, free refreshments, & free door prizes.
[donations are accepted]
"You can't legislate good will - that comes through education./" ~ Malcolm X
*UPandOUT film series* - see rule19.org/videos <http://rule19.org/videos/>
Why should YOU care? It's YOUR money that pays for US/Israeli wars - on
Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, Libya. Syria, Iran, So America, etc
etc - for billionaire bailouts, for ever more ubiquitous US prisons, for
the loss of liberty and civil rights...
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