This new documentary is an urgent and timely non-fiction retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, directed by Rob Lemkin and fronted by Femi Nylander. It is no on BFI Player and had its world premiere at London Film Festival in October. Alt managed to catch up with the awarding director Lemkin and activist/poet Nylander to discuss the pairing, film making and how colonization has impacted Africans.
Armed with a copy of Conrad’s classic novel, British-Nigerian student Femi Nylander, (Oxford University) 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.
The film is compelling narration of the brutality of colonialism and the ramifications that are still felt today. Highly moving, deeply affecting and thought provoking, AFRICAN APOCALYPSE unravels a dark past in the heart of Niger. More than anything, the documentary provides a platform for the people of Niger to express their anger and hurt from the past but also enables the audience to listen to their own first hand accounts of history, a luxury not previously afforded to them. This is an important film which grapples with the wide reaching arm of colonialism and how it plays a part in modern society. WATCH HERE.