Africa Addio "Farewell Africa" (English Subtitles)

Uploaded by coltheawesomeable on 05.08.2012

The Africa of the great explorers,
the huge land of hunting and adventure adored by entire generations of children
has disappeared forever.
To that age-old Africa,
swept away and destroyed by the tremendous speed of progress,
we have said farewell.
The devastation, the slaughter, the massacres which we assisted
belong to a new Africa...
one which if it emerges from its ruins
to be more modern, more rational, more functional, more conscious
will be unrecognizable.
On the other hand, the world is racing toward better times.
The new America rose from the ashes of a few white man, all the redskins
and the bones of millions of buffalo.
The new, carved up Africa will rise again
upon the tombs of a few white men, millions of black men,
and upon those immense graveyards that were once its game reserves.
The endeavor is so modern and recent that there is no room to discuss it
at the moral level.
The purpose of this film is only to bid farewell to the old Africa that is dying
and entrust to history the documentation of its agony.
The age of compromise has begun.
For the first time, the gardens of the Ocean Road Palace
are open to the new African bourgeoisie for the grand farewell party.
Old and new masters search in the lanes for imitation and symbiosis
in the eagerness to find something in common.
And that's how two centuries of history draw to a close.
The last representative of Her British Majesty
leaves the scene graciously in that climate of festive cordiality
that always accompanies the departure of a guest who has overstayed his welcome.
In this remote immensity, the wail of sirens and firing of cannons
make no more din than a child's birthday party.
Europe is in a hurry to leave and on tiptoe
even if, all things considered, it has given far more than it has taken.
Europe, the continent that nursed Africa, can no longer manage this big black baby
that grew too quickly, keeps bad company
and what's more, hates it because of its white skin.
And so it is abandoned, still cranky and immature,
just at the moment when it needs Europe the most.
Africa comes out of its long Middle Age and exchanges the spear for the gun.
The soldiers of the most famous African regiment
formed by white men who've lived in the country for three generations
lay down their arms without military honors,
and trust the defense of their homes and families to new hands.
The first spontaneous demonstrations take place
controlled by the new African police force.
Products imported from African countries that aren't yet independent are destroyed.
First to go are colonialist Portuguese eggs.
Next it's the turn of oranges from South Africa.
And South African beer.
Once the popular enthusiasm is unleashed, the new police must prepare to contain it.
The first elections in the history of the Dark Continent are imminent.
The crowd presses impatiently toward the polling places.
They're all afraid of arriving too late and ending up empty-handed.
For this great day of Uhuru, every party has promised its voters
the prize of the land, livestock, houses and cars of the whites that remained.
In the highlands of Kenya, the property of the white colonists
the big, green plateau that for 100 years
was the fortress of the rural aristocracy,
the Uhuru is late to arrive.
After 100 years, the ancient African landscape
is transformed into the Scottish countryside.
There are even foxhunts, even if there are no foxes here.
All that's needed is for a black man to drag a piece behind him
that just arrived by plane from England, in order to leave the scent for the dogs.
The fox is a harmful animal that does not exist in Africa.
If the white men want to hunt it so badly,
they have to teach someone to act like one.
But the fox is a treacherous prey and should never be underestimated.
Your honor, in force of Articles 7 and 19a
of the Repression of Mau Mau Criminal Activities Act of April 4, 1953
I ask that Jeroke Camau
accused of arson, theft, robbery, attempted murder and aggravated murder
be given the maximum penalty.
These weapons, made by him and his accomplices
were used to carry out the crimes to which he confessed in full
during the investigation.
On the night of April 6, 1961,
Rashidi Singhida entered the farm at Aberdare Point
of the British citizen, John Fletcher
where the defendant strangled the Askari guard, Josephi Nathaeli.
The defendant's second victim was Miss Elizabeth Reagan
the farmer's sister-in-law
killed by a gunshot fired by Singhida through the window of her room.
Mr. Fletcher ran down the outside stairs where he was hit by several gunshots
that shattered his legs.
He dragged himself inside the house
in the attempt to protect his wife, Mrs. Jane
and two daughters, Lois and Mary, ages 15 and 18,
who had looked for shelter under the table.
The corpses of the three women were found headless and without limbs.
The body of Mr. Fletcher, a former Navy officer,
was found stabbed 72 times with a panga.
Defendant Rashidi Singhida,
do you confirm the inquiry transcript already signed by you?
We take the liberty of pointing out to your honor
that the defendant knows English and doesn't need an interpreter.
I will reveal to you the facts that emerged from the investigation.
For nine years, you were the nanny of Memsa Fosset's three children:
Richard, two years old, Mary, four and Victor, nine.
You knew them from birth. You watched them play.
You ate and slept with them.
On the night of February 6, you opened a window
to let Kimathi and his gang into the house.
Juana Fosset was grabbed and his throat slit on the big green table.
The mother and the children ran toward the door.
Kimathi caught them and cut them into pieces
right in the doorway in your presence.
The trial of Jomo Kanari
self-styled general of the "Land Freedom Army"
escapee from the Voy prison where he was spending 30 years
for theft, burglary, assault and triple murder.
The inquiry determined that
the defendant organized more than 100 sworn members of Mau Mau,
whereby domesticated and wild animals were tortured,
and obscenities, together with the crime of cannibalism, took place.
Besides, the accused, along with his accomplices
severed the tendons of more than 400 cattle
that then had to be destroyed by the farmers.
Irrefutable evidence of the defendant's guilt was provided
by one of the main victims of Kanari's acts of vandalism, Mr. Wordsworth,
who along with his son followed the accused's trail
for 72 days and 72 nights.
In Narok, Kanari was captured and turned over to the Magadi police.
I consequently ask that the accused be found guilty
and sentenced to the maximum penalty provided for by the special law.
Land for the brave Mau Mau!
Amnesty for all Mau Mau!
Kenyatta proclaims them national heroes.
Reasoning: For the triumph of Uhuru,
yearned for by the blacks and denied by the whites,
they killed 27 whites and 5000 blacks.
Kenyatta announces that in addition to the undying gratitude of the nation
the Mau Mau will be granted the lands and houses of the white colonists
in which they carried out their deeds.
The whites are itching to get out.
The windows of real estate agencies are covered with sale offers.
Easy payment terms seem absurd
to anyone who doesn't know how to savor the bitter irony.
Installments for up to 99 years.
Gloomy irony in the graphic composition, desperate irony in the text of the ads.
Everything that belongs to the white colonists is for sale.
Those with time turn to Indian merchants to hold an auction in the garden
of everything accumulated by three generations that cannot be carried away.
The Indians do a good business.
The new black bourgeoisie spare no expense.
The ancient home is quickly emptied.
The family watches on the sidelines.
The seized houses, empty and silent, await their new owners.
In the entire immense East African territory
English colonial law permitted whites to build a house
and acquire property here and only here.
In two centuries, the new colonists transformed it into an oasis of green.
The Africans learned to admire it, then to desire it, and finally to claim it.
When the Golden Age is over, the Plated Age begins.
In the highlands, where 150 whites lived yesterday
10,000 blacks subsist today.
The agrarian reform ignores the arid immensity of the Lowlands
to express the new spirit of Uhuru only here
on these freshly seized fertile estates.
But on the whole, it can distribute just one acre per family.
So this land that earlier was perhaps too much for too few
becomes too little for too many.
Uhuru has nothing more to conquer.
Only the dead have remained to occupy a little land.
Now they, too, have to clear out.
The Indians have sold that off, too.
J. B. Johnson was the most famous breeder of racehorses in the highlands.
He was killed by Kimathi's Mau Mau on the steps of his farm.
These were his stables.
Before turning them over to the new owners,
his sons chased out the horses and set them free in the savanna.
Six months later, all the "old land" horses are living in freedom.
But when the Africans surprise a herd at the mouth of a narrow valley,
they're trapped inside by the sound of shouts and old gas cans.
For the Africans, the horse is the symbol of the white man.
Just like the whites, it refuses contact with other species
and withdraws from the contagion of mixture,
surrounding itself by an emptiness that runs from itself to the horizon.
For the Africans, the horse is physically racist.
It fears the black and refuses to be ridden by him.
Without the presence of the whites, its back is bare.
Its natural architecture is mutilated, like an equestrian monument
from which the hero was toppled by a sudden act of violence.
Like the white man, the horse is noble. It has delicate skin.
It's sophisticated in its choice of food.
Like the white man, it is timid.
Just a little noise will frighten it away.
Like the white man, the horse is useless. All that it's good for is to be eaten.
The Boers are returning to South Africa.
They have revived the wagons on which they arrived 400 years ago
in search of a homeland.
They could have chosen boats or airplanes
as the English did to return to Europe.
Instead, with controversial intentions,
they loaded their families and possessions on old wagons
from their wobbly epic and now move back across 1000 miles of history.
The demonstration is hard and trying,
just like the entire destiny of the Boer people.
Its meaning is tragic and precise.
The long African adventure is not over. It starts here.
The old laws are no longer valid. The new ones are yet to be written.
There's no one to protect the savanna from vandals or hunters seeking meat.
For those who want to rob Africa of all they can as quickly as possible,
the right moment has arrived.
If before it was absolutely forbidden for Land Rovers to leave the roads or tracks,
now they enter the savanna with impunity and wildly weave back and forth
among herds of elephants to frighten them, divide them
and separate the mothers from the babies.
Here's the quickest way to get your hands on a little elephant today.
You exasperate the mother little by little. You provoke her reaction.
Then you draw out her pursuit as long as possible
giving the illusion of letting her reach you
and when the poor beast can't go on any longer
she'll be too far from her baby to be able to defend it.
The price of a baby elephant is around $3000...
assuming, of course, that it arrives safe and sound to the ordering zoo.
The average is one out of ten.
The others don't survive without their mother's milk.
But today, Africa is an infinite reserve.
Where you can't go by foot, you go by jeep
and where you can't go by jeep, you go by helicopter.
Of all the types of safaris that a hunter can choose from today
this is the quickest.
It's called "elephant safari in a quarter hour."
The helicopter leaves from the hotel terrace and drops the hunter here.
Then it goes to find the elephant and chases it toward him.
The hunter fires, usually poorly, but with a caliber big enough to bag a dinosaur.
Then he finishes it off at point-blank range.
Just enough time for a souvenir photo, and then he's off.
In the absence of modern transport and the power of guns,
the Africans make do with numbers.
Up to 10,000 of them gather together and surround an area as large as a big city.
Then they squeeze the vice.
Across the great line traced by the Zambezi
the Wildlife Society has established its headquarters in an old abandoned farm.
It's a large organization supported mostly by private Anglo-Saxon capital
and does what it can to save what it can in the midst of so much disorder.
Every message received or sent by radio,
every motion of the rake on the large table in the operations room
corresponds to a massive displacement of animals in some remote area.
The goal of so much feverish activity is to collect at least some of the animals
from the areas most infested with poachers
and transport them to territories that are safer and better controlled.
After millennia of fascinating silences, mysterious habits,
pathways covered in obedience to the orders of nature,
man has imposed upon African fauna wild tourism by train, bus, plane
helicopter, and even balloon.
Operation Crocodile calls for the transfer of all the reptiles in the park
away from the mouth of the Rovuma that is infested with poachers.
The traps are set during low tide and marked with colored balloons.
It's estimated that in these waters
more than 20,000 crocodiles have been killed in the last six months.
The operation in progress saves 82 of them.
They will reach more peaceful waters after having slept for 300 miles.
Animals injured by poachers are cared for by the Wildlife Society's blood bank.
Teams of veterinarians and nurses carry out tests, administer medicine,
check the temperature of huge injured elephants,
and keep them happy with several pounds of tranquilizers.
On February 18, 1964, a Wildlife Society helicopter
surveying an area on the coast of Kenya and the Tanarive area
found the carcasses of a full 750 elephants.
The poachers were surprised by the helicopter
while they were still cutting out the tusks.
They ran and hid among clumps of grass.
It was the first inspection operation after more than a year of total anarchy.
The governments of Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda
following serious disorder and the rebellion of the Armed Forces
urgently requested the return of English troops.
The old laws that had lapsed came back into force.
The former Anglo-Saxon administration retook control of the game reserves.
A brief interlude of order was opened up
which, however, would be closed again after only one month.
But the level of damage suffered by the fauna is shocking.
In a first round up, the police capture 410 poachers.
The great massacre comes to a standstill.
The police discover hundreds of caches of ivory and furs
hidden in the underbrush and dry stream beds.
The gangs of poachers have used grenades
to kill over 300 young elephants without tusks
just to get the tails to make bracelets and necklaces
to sell to tourists for a few coins.
Large tents set up by police house 82 tons of confiscated tusks.
An even more frightening number
if one considers only one-fifth of slaughtered animals
are usually found by the game warden patrols.
In a valley in Semliki,
the police find 2800 skins of zebra, leopard, gazelle, lion and cheetah
that the poachers left to dry in the sun.
The underbrush is strewn with carcasses that foul the air
which the alarmed vandals did not have time to skin.
In the ancient breeding grounds that are the richest in the world
columns of acrid smoke now rise and flames crackle at the pyres.
While the police chase the poachers, other patrols comb the savanna
to aid the injured animals.
The initiative, clearly based upon good intentions
is certainly not adequate for the amount of damage and butchery.
Africa is afflicted by a hundred evils
and no one vigorously combats their causes.
Only a few, here and there, do their best to heal the effects.
There's nothing to do. They won't give us permission to land.
We decide to try it anyway on an old landing strip further north.
We're preceded by our sister plane, rented by three German journalists.
We've flown here together from Tanganyika.
Neither they nor we want to turn back
without first having done everything possible
to document the worst genocide in the history of Africa.
It all started last night
when an African named Okello, backed by Russia
overthrew the thousand year old government of the Sultan
and, naming himself revolutionary general,
ordered the massacre of the entire Arab population of Zanzibar.
All communications have been broken off.
The radio is silent and the airports are closed.
The only way to know anything about what's happening in Zanzibar
is to come in person, as did we and our German colleagues
whom we glimpse for a moment as they are hauled away by the insurgents.
For today, it's better to skip it.
That cloud of smoke down there rising from the runway
is the Germans' airplane that's burning.
At least we know there's no one on board.
We try again a day later, January 19, with a helicopter.
We waive a red flag to confuse the rebels.
They direct us toward the interior of the island,
where it appears that during the night, 5000 Arabs were killed.
Okello has distributed 850 guns that mysteriously arrived on the island
which the Africans do not yet know how to use.
It's open hunting season for Arabs.
The propaganda tells the new generations the Arabs are cursed slave traders
who sell Africans to slave merchants along the coast.
It, of course, omitted that this all happened ten centuries ago.
This footage is the only existing documentation
of what happened in Zanzibar between January 18 and 20, 1964.
Entire villages destroyed, trucks filled with corpses,
testimony that's uncomfortable and embarrassing for all...
for those in Africa today, spreading false promises,
fomenting a new African racism
and for those hastily abandoning Africa to itself
in the false modesty of antique colonialism
authorizing a new Africa flooded with misery and blood.
Look at these images.
Look at them with pity.
But above all, look at them with shame.
Endless lines of prisoners marching toward the site of the massacre.
Hundreds of motionless Arabs, waiting for death
wrapped in their white sheets, already more similar to ghosts than men.
Muslim cemeteries transformed into fields of imminent extermination.
Women and children trembling under the threat of guns.
Enormous common graves already half-filled with corpses.
Perhaps the most pitiless mass shooting in the entire macabre anthology of death.
The exodus toward the sea of entire villages.
The desperate boarding of boats stuck in the sand at low tide.
The hopeless run toward an impossible salvation.
Then, the day after.
These were the national parks
that the mystical Anglo-Saxon love for animals
and regulations written with the fervor of an inquisitor
had transformed into real-life sanctuaries of nature.
Man, who in the text of the English law protecting national parks
was classified among the harmful animals
did not even have the right to set one foot on this land.
He could walk around the edges in absolute silence
under the watchful eyes of the game warden
and in full respect of a code that did not tolerate ignorance.
The most ancient Africa,
the Africa of great navigators and great geographic discoveries,
is awaking from a sleep of four centuries.
At the fortresses sown by Vasco de Gama along the coast of Mozambique
nothing has passed except for time.
The glory of past centuries puts up a decrepit resistance against new times:
Battlements in ruins, bastions eaten away by centuries
silent bronze cannons
and an act of faith in humility and resignation.
Just on the other side of the walls, in the invisible guerrilla camps
is the new reality still draped with the morning fog
where the soldiers move hesitantly like ghosts of the past.
Wherever man is present, nature is silent.
The silence of the animals and birds is the unequivocal sign of a human presence.
The rebels in Angola avoid forests that are too quiet.
They know that Portuguese patrols are inside them, lying in wait.
3, 2, 1, go!
The cleverness almost always works.
Animals and guerrillas rush to the call of the magnetic tape
and in one moment, the forest is filled with life and death.
This is the destiny of a people who wanted to ignore the color of skin.
Aqui es Portugal. This is Portugal.
Brancos y pretos as todos português. White or black, we're all Portuguese.
But the rebels of Angola don't agree.
This is Africa. Only blacks are Africans.
Black and white, brancos y pretos, wart en blank, blanches et noires
a dilemma which is present, current, universal
that is more and more being colored red.
January, 1964.
The Watusi, pursued by the Bantu in revolt
flee toward the Ugandan border carrying their wounded.
The war of the Bantu against the Watusi is nothing more than racial persecution
fomented for political purposes by the presence and propaganda of China
in the state of Rwanda Burundi.
In just two months, the Bantu have massacred 18,000 Watusi.
The underbrush hides the still-fresh proof of a ferocious horror.
On the banks of the Kwoni River, 54 amputated hands were found
under the trunk of a tree still wet with blood, used as a chopping block.
The border police caught them in the act and arrested 25 Bantu guerrillas.
But aside from this, no government, black or white
has lifted a finger to stop the bloodbath.
Meanwhile, the waters of the Kagera send thousands of corpses downstream.
For days, the fishing is macabre and abundant
carried out with lazy diligence by the residents along the river.
The feeling of compassion doesn't exist here.
What exists is a good source of drinking water that has to be kept clean.
Because the river is life. Because it is life that kills, not death.
Ten days and nights of exodus along the roads of Uganda.
The Watusi were a people with a thousand year history as herders.
A people of survivors who continue to flee toward the unknown
failing to understand and in shock.
It is a people that no longer exists.
This is more or less how Noah's terrestrial paradise must have been.
Hearing the far-off rumble of thunder, he set about constructing the great ark.
The same ancient silence, the same sovereign harmony,
the same divine balance that man still has not managed to upset.
Image and likeness of that terrestrial paradise
destroyed with that same divinity by the sudden wrath of a vindictive God.
It's dawn on February 25, 1964.
After having put down the rebellion of the African armed forces,
the English troops have left again.
The ancient British law to protect the fauna having lapsed a second time,
the African governments decide to open up even the national parks to hunting.
Faced with the most severe measures,
white and black game wardens now employed by the African authorities
have no choice but to obey and organize the details of the "cropping" operation
or "harvesting the animals."
From now on, once a week, on Friday,
the harvest operation will resupply local markets with fresh meat.
For the first time in the history of the last refuge of African fauna,
in the inviolate sanctuaries of nature
where it was considered sacrilege to even speak loudly,
men are entering armed with guns.
The take from one day of hippopotamus harvest amounts to 160.
The park authorities sell them to butchers for 300 shillings each
or about $45.
The number of animals to kill is established each time
based upon the demands of the market, 100, 200, 1000,
but not one more nor one less so as not to disrupt the prices.
The rest are left alive for the next day, completely at peace,
yawning right next to the river where, up until yesterday
tourists came to photograph them.
Killing them is child's play.
You just have to choose, like the targets at a shooting gallery.
Babies, adults, males, females and pregnant females...
Since this is the world's richest park and hippopotamus will always be abundant,
up to the day when there aren't any more.
The request for 45 elephants has also been fulfilled without difficulty.
Now they're butchered on the spot
to simplify the transport of prime and choice cuts.
Among the butchers, not even one injury.
Elephants, which hunters described as the most ferocious animals in Africa
in reality allow themselves to be slaughtered like goats
whether it's those miserable males suffering from toothaches
or the legendary pregnant females.
The truth is that in all of Africa there is only one truly ferocious animal:
Wounded animals that go to die at the edge of the parks
must be destroyed much more quickly than the vultures normally would do.
The tourists must not know and, above all, must not see.
And now we'll offer you a souvenir photo of the butchery from 1964,
the richest storehouse of hippopotamus meat in the world.
Don't worry. Look over there, in the water.
A few have remained for next Friday.
And here's another.
Look long and hard, especially since today is Friday
any Friday in any season.
It's the most recent souvenir photo in our journey
through what were the safe refuges of African fauna
the centuries-old game reserves, the inviolable sanctuaries of nature
where it was considered sacrilege even to speak loudly.
Now you can scream, shout, swear and even curse
without the fear of disturbing anyone or anything.
The most harmful of animals, man, has passed by here.
You can follow his tracks for miles and miles
along this dusty white road that today crosses the heart of Africa,
always winding along scenes of nothing but desolation and death.
We just left behind an Africa that's disappearing
and immediately we enter an Africa that's already disappeared.
The division is a clean crack.
On the other side, confusion and indiscriminate death.
On this side, order and discriminating life.
This is the view of Cape Town from above, one of the largest cities in South Africa,
the country today with the most enemies in the world.
To the universal cry that proclaims "Africa for Africans,"
the South Africans respond, "This is not Africa."
And this, at least, is true.
This is a view that suddenly and unpredictably appears,
an ignored and distant landscape
that seems to have wriggled away from the network of parallels and meridians.
If it isn't Africa, it also isn't Europe or America.
There's nothing that can give sense to a geographic expression.
It's not an African mirage because it exists in time and space.
It's not a Promised Land because it lacks the biblical requirements.
All that's left is to define it as a miracle...
a weighty miracle carried out over three centuries
by a persecuted people wanting to prove that only its God is the true one.
A miracle that, despite its physical reality,
transcends the limits of time and space,
wrapping men and objects in a soft blanket of bliss
in a delicate balance between the transient and the eternal.
The black Africa of tribal dances,
of swollen breasts offered to the glory of nature
survives only on movie sets.
A film is being shot in South Africa about the Zulu,
the proud African tribe that made things so difficult for the Boers.
Today, Zulu maidens come out of the academy,
speak excellent English, and receive union wages
for putting on nylon underwear and dancing the dance of their grandmothers.
During their breaks, the ancient rhythm of the tom-tom
gives them a few variations on the theme.
The African female has discovered she is a woman
and is beginning to behave as such.
She wants to be modern because she feels the past is against her.
When she was naked, she had two mammary glands.
Now that she's clothed, she has two breasts.
She does not wants to display herself. She wants to be looked at
to make you guess what's under her alluring clothes.
She covers her intimacy not out of modesty, but to be flirtatious.
She undresses to surrender and dresses to attack.
Naked she was prey, like a black female.
Clothed she is a tyrant, like a white woman.
Africa covers itself consciously
and all wrapped up in the veils of its consciousness, Africa disappears.
For their part, the authorities encourage or even impose modesty.
In the southern regions of Sudan,
thousands of pairs of underwear, all one size
are distributed to the tribes in the interior by the "Legion of Decency".
The unconquerable warriors entrusted with them
must maintain them with the care owed by every good citizen
to everything that is state property.
Among all things to hide, underwear covers what's most urgent.
That's enough to decently begin to march toward the conquest of further dignity.
Never before has a warrior put on pants. Never before has a lion climbed a tree.
The fact is that times have changed, and in the new republics
the ancient kings have fallen into disgrace.
Let's take the poor ex-king of the animals with the stiff muscles.
Today, his roar doesn't scare anyone.
While zebras and gazelles flee, pursued by gunshots,
the once invincible, ex-aristocrat, ex-hunter of noble prey
climbs trees and hunts lizards.
Poor king of the jungle!
His old reputation haunts him, making his humiliation public.
The tourists crowd the parks to see him, only him.
Where's the lion? There's the lion.
Wait, let's see what the lion's doing.
It's like that the whole day,
and they don't even leave him a moment of intimacy.
Encouraged by his ancestral laziness, the African lion has given up hunting,
seeing as how the park rangers do the hunting for him.
Fresh meat is delivered to his door,
that is, to the areas most accessible to tourists
where the park administration has a great interest that he stays.
So, over time, the ancient, nomadic, independent king of the jungle
has become a stingy retiree with middle-class habits
forced to defend his steak
against those who up until yesterday would not have dared to come close.
A new rebellion has broken out in Tanganyika.
The mob has massacred Muslims, including women and children.
The mortuaries are full. The corpses have to be lined up outside.
The vultures wait patiently for the operation to finish
so they can start their own.
Dar es Salaam is in the grips of anarchy.
Everyone is in revolt: The people, the police,
and even the army, which has mutinied.
President Nyerere has disappeared. No one knows who's in charge.
For us European journalists,
going out on the streets in search of footage is a nearly suicidal endeavor.
Everywhere we go, they chase us away. They insult us. They threaten us.
We try to get to the outskirts.
On the bloody streets, a crowd hides the victims of the massacre from us.
In one neighborhood, a Muslim tries to flee from a lynch mob.
He jumps off a seawall. The mob reaches him and drowns him.
They destroy the houses and shops of businessmen
accused of having taken over from the whites in exploiting the people.
With great effort, we push through the crowd in Uhuru Square.
Someone has killed three African soldiers.
The police prepare the reprisal,
dragging all the Muslims out of their homes
and lining them up against the wall.
They yell at us to leave, they threaten us with guns.
We try to equivocate, to win time, while the camera continues to roll.
One of us is injured.
They open the doors and drag us out.
They arrest us. They put us up against the wall.
We are saved by a miracle which the newspapers would later report.
Moise Tshombe has returned from exile as a liberator,
father of the country, and special envoy of the UN.
Three quarters of Congo is in the hands of rebels and communists.
Tshombe promises to clean house in three months.
Two months later, Stanleyville, stronghold of Simba leader Nicholas Olenga,
has been conquered by Belgian paratroopers and mercenaries.
The city is a cemetery without graves.
During 100 days of occupation,
the Simba have tortured and, in part, eaten 12,000 Africans.
Guns in hand, regular Congolese troops force the Simba prisoners
to carry out this gruesome cleaning.
In the final days, 80 schoolchildren were burned alive.
Four nurses were raped and killed.
Sixty-four people were shot including Europeans, Indians and Pakistanis.
Many bodies have a long gash in the belly
where the Simba cut out the liver and ate it.
Nine nuns, seven missionaries and four white children
were tied up with wire and shot by the rebels in the mouth.
The heat is unbearable.
The air is thick with the stench of corpses.
There's fear of pestilence.
At the Leopoldville airport,
American C-130s land with the survivors of the Stanleyville massacre.
Just yesterday, they had been massed together for execution.
The machine guns had already started cutting them down
when 320 Belgian paratroopers dropped from the sky
and, in 10 minutes, managed to pull them out of the hands of 7000 rebels.
Despite the lightning operation, 22 are missing.
The injured were pulled out from under a pile of 40 corpses
among which were identified Americans Carlson and Rain
and Belgians Brinkman, Masqueau and De Smitter.
Five of these wounded, among whom was a woman who had been raped,
were to die soon after in a Danish hospital in Leopoldville.
The evacuation of survivors,
the transport of the wounded, food and medicine,
was carried out in a few hours by the US Air Force with 40 planes.
Two days later, November 27, the governments of the new African states
demanded that Washington make a broad official apology
for the abusive interference by the USA in private Congolese affairs.
Beyond Polis and Beni, on the northern border of Congo with Sudan
an attempt is made at the aerial resupply with food and medicine
of a mission occupied by rebels.
The life of the priests, nuns and over 100 children is in danger.
The 6000 rebels of the Kirlis army who rule the area
have threatened to wipe out all of the besieged
if even one paratrooper or helicopter tries to land.
For eight days, the planes of the ANC take turns in the sky above the mission
making drops that end up in the hands of the rebels.
At dawn on the ninth day, planes and helicopters take off
and we're with them.
But this time, there's no one to await us.
We got to know them one at a time.
They are the white mercenaries of Tshombe's army.
They're the last surviving soldiers of fortune from another century.
They're former citizens of a world that kicked them out
or that they're running from.
Dead and survivors, all of them are or were ex-something.
From a restless past, an uncomfortable present,
a ruined adventure, lost faith.
They're ex-"Pieds Noirs" from Algeria, ex-English commandos,
ex-German engineers, ex-farmers from Kenya,
ex-residents expelled from Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanganyika,
ex-veterans of Katanga, ex-professional hunters,
ex-students from South Africa and Rhodesia,
come to pursue with a macabre academic spirit
the idea of glory and adventure.
Two days ago, 15 of them plucked 400 rebels from Kisala.
Tomorrow, 40 of them will attempt an endeavor
that 93,000 UN soldiers could not manage: The conquest of Boende.
The attack plan for Boende calls for the use of massive aerial forces.
The "massive" aerial forces are these two 20-year-old P6s
held together as well as possible with bolts and wire.
They're the personal property of Tom O'Keefe and Somerset Wilson
former Rhodesian pilots whose families were massacred by rebels from Angola.
They've hired out themselves and the planes for $500 a month
which no one has paid for six months
and a life insurance policy that up to now
no insurance company has underwritten.
This time, as always, before leaving
they've filled out the forms at the airport in the usual manner.
Destination: Hell. Reason for flight: Personal matters.
The Simba fled without having time to slaughter the missionaries
who've lived for three months under the daily nightmare of the massacre.
Propaganda teaches the Simba to strike the white man especially at his God,
a white-skinned God responsible for the centuries-long arrogance of his faithful.
Along the path to Boende, the skeletons of the Simba
are rotting in the puddles without glory and without burial.
They advanced unprotected, dazed by drugs,
intoning the "Mai Mulele,"
the magic spell that was supposed to transform the lead of bullets into water.
They fell, incredulous and amazed. They died for nothing and for no one.
Africa has no fallen soldiers on either side.
It has only corpses.
Boende has fallen.
The last Simba come out of the forest with their hands up.
Today it's their turn, but tomorrow
when the mercenaries leave the city headed toward other objectives,
they'll be on the other side of the gun.
It's an absurd and tragic ballad that's been going on for five years now.
Whites against blacks and blacks against whites.
They take turns killing and dying, like a cruel children's game.
No one wins and no one loses, once and for all.
No condition is definitive except for white and black deaths
that together infect the ruins and dissolve, amidst the buzz of flies,
into absolute biological equality.
The ethics of the Congolese guerrilla are that to the victor belong the spoils.
The mercenaries have aimed right at the safe of the revolutionary government
and have blown it open with a bazooka.
Inside was 50 million Congolese francs.
These were the funds destined for the famous "OK Plan"
according to which General Olenga, at the head of his 3000 Mulelist warriors
was to invade the United States.
America has been saved.
In the streets, the soldiers divide up the small change.
The ambitious "OK Plan" has been postponed for centuries,
just like all of their naive delusions of grandeur.
Meanwhile, they go into raptures
over a victory as squalid and useless as their raid,
sharing in a miserable little celebration from which they get only the crumbs.
For centuries they were poor out of necessity.
But now that they're rich to excess, they load themselves up,
even if they will never be able to carry it away.
Bent under the weight of useless trinkets, they pursue an ideal of wealth,
robbing only their own misery from themselves.
The right to plunder is valid only for 24 hours.
Time ran out 10 minutes ago.
But why could you steal up to 10 minutes ago, and now you can't?
A good Congolese soldier who fought for the homeland will never understand.
Nor will he ever understand why the whites make such a fuss
to find out who ate this peasant's liver.
Or why there has to be a trial to condemn to death this Mulelist
who burned 27 children alive.
Or why they're arresting the soldiers
who raped those Mulelist bitch prisoners in jail.
And why you need so many guns to kill one single little disarmed Mulelist.
While to kill a bigger and stronger one, you only need one shot.
But despite everything,
Africa continues to be an uncontainable sea of life.
Here in South Africa, for every baby born with white skin,
five come into the world with black skin.
Racial separation, which is called "apartheid" here
is a short-lived, provisional dam.
It is the hysterical reaction to the hysterical situation
that threatens to darken the smile of the new generations into hatred.
Soweto is one of the largest black cities in South Africa.
The apartheid laws prohibit whites from entering.
If it's a prison, then it's a strange prison
where the doors lock on the inside and open out.
On the other side of these lines, there's another big prison...
that of the whites.
It's called Johannesburg.
Apartheid prohibits blacks from entering.
This is another strange prison
where the doors lock on the inside and open out.
Apartheid has locked up two races in two different prisons
whose locks work the wrong way.
Two gilded cages in the richest country in the world.
The Boers discovered gold a hundred years ago
when they had been working this land as farmers for hundreds of years.
There's no question that the Boers also have a right to this wealth
because the Boers are Africans, too, even if they're white Africans.
But it's also true that to extract just one of these gold bars
requires one day of labor from 1000 black Africans
and the technical assistance of 100 white Africans.
Because this is a country of 3 million white Africans
and 11 million black Africans.
And although each needs the other,
they live in suspicion of the numerical disproportion
and in the misunderstanding of certain slogans arriving from Europe:
"Whoever is white is not African," a racist affirmation.
"Only those who are black are Africans," another racist affirmation.
So day after day,
the gilded prisons continue to close and open to the wail of the sirens
that call white Africans and black Africans to work together.
As long as it was a poor land, it was an uninhabited land.
Then, when the Boers opened the mines
the Bantu came down from the mountains in search of work.
They spread the word and new crowds crossed the uncontrollable borders.
Then it was the turn of the refugees from Congo, Sudan, Angola.
Today there are 11 million and still growing.
They come in waves to the entrance of the mines
They flood through the labyrinth of tunnels that run under the big city.
The great vein of gold, half a mile thick, winds under the city of Johannesburg,
the ceiling that separates 3 million whites from 11 million blacks
peppered with holes like a huge Swiss cheese.
Crowds of miners dig like termites,
crawling from one shaft to another like Christians in the catacombs,
following the path of gold with a secret, methodical, muffled grinding.
Over here, the roof creaks menacingly. The miners run for cover.
Over there, the big city vibrates and trembles
from the dull explosions of dynamite, but no one moves.
No one has paid attention for years.
The stock market goes up continuously. Share prices are steadily high.
Buy orders for mining shares arrive
from the markets of London, New York, Geneva and Paris.
On March 10 of this year, Moscow bought 2 million carats of diamonds.
On May 12, Peking requested 50 tons of gold.
Down below, the great vein of gold climbs from low to high
just like the stock chart.
Millions of picks and shovels follow it
in a relentless, solid march toward the surface.
The great floor separating the two worlds is growing thinner and crumbling.
The growing clamor of the Stock Exchange
mixes with the ever closer and louder boom of the explosions.
Almighty Lord, now that another day dies in your glory,
bless and protect our lives. Bless and protect our forces
as it is written that the hyena shall prevail over the lion
when the lion has no more claws with which to rule.
Grant that this sea whence we came shall always lie before us
and never at our backs.
Bless and protect this, our last refuge
which you led us to find unspoiled on the day we came
and in which we have resisted hatred and violence.
Lastly, bless and protect the waves and the winds,
that the fury of two oceans united
shall not wrest us away forever from these final shores.
At the end of the Ice Age, a warm current
broke this little colony of penguins off of the glaciers of the south
and carried them here on huge rafts of ice that then melted in the sun.
Isolated and without the possibility of returning to their original homeland,
they have for centuries been strangers in a strange land
that is becoming more and more heated and hostile toward them
surrounded by a sea that grows higher and more and more filled with rage.
Perhaps a little peace will descend upon these waters sooner or later,
before a wave stronger than the others tears them away forever
from this last rock that forms the geographic end of the Dark Continent.
To close, we would like to apologize to our families
for having been away from home for three years.
This film, born without prejudices,
does not attempt and has never attempted to create new ones.
It has only tried to document the reality of how blood spilled anywhere
represents a loss of wealth for the entire world.