Directed by : Peter Bate, commentary : Paul Pauwels, producted by : Périscope productions, ZDF Arte, RTBF, BBC, Ikon, The History channel (Canada), SBS TV (Australie), DK TV (Danemark), Communauté francophone de Belgique, Programme média de l'UE, 1h 23mn, 2013.
The king of Belgium Léopold II is borned the 17th of december 1835 in Bruxelles. During his childhood he was rejected by his mother Louise d'Orléans because she was very affected by the death of her own father Louis - Philippe the last king of France. He will lost her mother at the age of fifteen. Physically he doesn't seem to be very strong but he has an aim. He begins to travel all over the world because he wants to give some economics opportunities to his kingdom. At the age of eighteen he gets married with the daughter of the austrian archiduc but his wedding isn't a success. His wife has a strong personality and she improves a real passion for riding horses. On the contrary Léopold II is an incommunicable person who improve any interest for the sexuality.
Unhappy the king Léopold II wants to affirme himself. He gives social laws to his kingdom (labor day, working of the children, ...). He modifies a little bit the constitution and he gives also the orders to build some roads, railroads and buildings but all of these works cost a lot of money. The king Léopold II thinks that he can find the money he needs with the colonial project he thinks about. He begins by looking to asia but the France and the United kingdom don't agree because they have economic interests in this area. After this failure he decides to colonize the Congo. The congoleses think that the king will protect them against the esclavagists but they understand quickly their mistake.
The king Léopold II organizes with the complicity of the british explorer Henri Morgan Stanley a slavery system toward the creation of an international association (the AIC). He imposes the prize of each ores (rubber, ivory) and incitates his own civil servants to accelerate the working process. The conference of Berlin (1884 - 1885) recognizes the supremacy of the AIC leaded by the king Léopold II on the Congo. In Congo the belgian civil servants and militaries impose punishments and hard labor to the congoleses. They kill, steal, rape and mutilate. The increasing of the car making industry at the begining of the 20th century open many economic opportunities for the AIC because these industries need some rubber for making their tyres. But the catholic missionaries are schocked by the killings and the mutilations and they informe their hierarchy. At the same time the famous writer Robert Conrad denounces these atrocities in his novel "Heart of darkness" (1902).
In 1894 the british writer and journalist Edmond Dean Morel publishes some articles in "The speaker" about the atrocities in Congo. He writes also a book entitled "Red rubber" with a cuted hand on the front page. The british diplomats and the writer Sir Arthur nConan Doyle support this action. The pression on the king Léopold II is so important that he must create a committee leaded by Edmond Janssen and send it to Congo for making an inquiry. At the same time the king organize a publicity campaign in some european cities for fighting against the accusations of atrocity. He thinks that the Janssen's report will help him to close the polemics but he made a big mistake. After four months of inquiring and the hearing of one hundred congoleses the members of the Janssen committee write an accusatory report. In Congo the civil servants commit some abuses including killing, raping and mutilations (six millions of victims).
Under the foreign pression the king Léopold II must let the Belgium takes the control of the Congo. the king Léopold II dies in 1909 and his coffin is shooted at when he goes in the streets of Bruxelles to the cimetery. The memory of the bloody colonization will be stumped and the king Léopold II will be considered as a famous king. When the Congo will becomes independant in 1960 the Prime minister Patrice Lumumba will pronounce a famous speach just in front of the king of belgium Baudoin in which he explains the real nature of the colonozation. The westen countries don't accept such critics and they will help the général Mobutu to take the power and kill Lumumba. Mobutu establishes a bloody dictatorship who will fall down in 1996. The result of the colonization leaded by the king Léopold II and following by the Mobotu dictatorship is to let the Congo totally distroy.