Kongon Akseli

A Man from the Congo RiverKongon Akseli / Als Finne auf dem Kongo

Retrospective, Finland 2009, 53 Min., finn. OV, engl. st

In his haunting novel “Heart of Darkness” (1899), Joseph Conrad drew on personal experience to describe the experiences of a ship captain on the Congo River. The work of the famed writer and seaman is far better known than the activities of his Scandinavian counterparts in the same waters. In the 19th century, after committing to the employ of the king of Belgium, sailors and engineers from Finland and Sweden earned good wages working the river steamers of the Belgian colony. Although they were initially shocked at the horrific methods of exploitation, they would gradually adapt to the prevailing conditions. In the end, they too learned to wield the chicotte whip, made of rhinoceros hide. Jouko Aaltonen uses excerpts from letters and documentary images to reconstruct the manifestations of this brutal colonial regime.

Director Jouko Aaltonen

Screenplay Jouko Aaltonen, Seppo Sivonen

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Screenings

No screenings are available for this film.