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From Congo Free State to Zaire - Documentary about the history of the Congo
The Congo, the largest country in Central Africa, was granted its independence from Belgium in 1960. This riveting historical documentary, using a wealth of archival material, illustrates how the legacy of colonialism effected modern Congo, led first by Patrice Lumumba, then by General Mobutu for thirty years. From 1908, when King Leopold II ceded his land grants to the Belgian people, economic development was seen as the first stage of the process of colonization. A new industrial port, along with road and rail networks, opened up the Congo to overseas trade. The Belgians brought with them an efficient system of administration, education and healthcare. The Congo's resources - timber, palm oil, diamonds, coffee and rubber - enriched the motherland. By the end of World War II, the relationship between the colonizers and colonized changed. The pace accelerated towards decolonization. However, independence brought its own problems. Two leaders emerged, Patrice Lumumba and General Mobutu, and conflict between them ended with the murder of Lumumba and Mobutu's seizure of power. From Congo to Zaire takes a fresh look at the Congo's turbulent history and provides new insights into the problems it faces today.
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