African Apocalypse (2020)
Directed by Rob Lemkin, 88 minutes
A young man’s epic journey across Africa in search of a colonial killer. This is an urgent and timely non-fiction retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
‘The conquest of the earth is not a pretty thing when you look into it’. (Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1899)
Armed with a copy of Conrad’s classic novel, British-Nigerian Oxford University student Femi Nylander goes in search of the meaning and legacy of colonial horror in West Africa.
He discovers the unknown story of a French army captain, Paul Voulet, who descended into unspeakable barbarity in the conquest of Niger at the very moment Conrad wrote his book.
Femi finds communities still traumatised by the century-old violence of Voulet. For many Nigeriens, their unenviable status as the world’s poorest country dates from the moment of Voulet’s arrival in their land.
But amidst a tragic history, Femi also encounters a beautiful spirit of hope: young people learning to find a way out of colonialism’s darkness, and a country determined to harness the power of its most precious resource, the light of the sun.
He returns to Britain just as a new global confrontation of the legacy of empire and racism emerges in the Black Lives Matter protests. Empowered by his journey, Femi joins the movement determined to play his full part in this growing movement against oppression.
The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Javid Abdelmonheim and included director Rob Lemkin, co-writer and main protagonist Femi Nylander, and Dr Halima Youssoufou-Bordanne.
The replay can be found below: