[act-ma] Thursday 6/21: "King Leopold's Ghost" - Free UPandOUT film screening

pf soto 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. 
/<http://rule19.org/download-film/film-120517-Superpower.pdf>/The Congo 
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
    hand-maimed host./
    /Hear how the demons chuckle and yell / Cutting his hands off, down
    in Hell./

"/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 
unexpected bestseller.]

"/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
rule19.org/videos <http://rule19.org/videos/>

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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