Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death

In 1885 a coalition of European powers granted personal ownership of the Congo, a region rich in minerals and rubber, to Belgium's King Leopold II. His royal army enslaved the native population through a sweeping campaign of rape, torture, mutilation, and murder; by 1908, when Leopold lost control of the Congo, as many as ten million people had been slaughtered. Dramatization is often a questionable tactic in documentaries, but by picturing Leopold (Elie Larson) on trial like Adolf Eichmann, Peter Bate adroitly compares the colonial genocide to the Holocaust. In English and subtitled French, Flemish, and Congolese dialects (2003). 90 min.

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