The Films, Books and Expeditions of John L. Brom
Chapter 18: ‘Icoutou ya Congo’ (‘Name of the River is Congo’)
| 141 →
‘ICOUTOU YA CONGO’ (‘NAME OF THIS RIVER IS CONGO’)
The easiest part of their trans-African trip for the Broms was boarding the river boat ‘Baron Liebsbrecht” in Stanleyville. The two hundred meter long vessel featured comfortable cabins with showers and a fine restaurant. Passengers’ vehicles and merchandise were located on the platform in front of the boat and at that very point Brom found sufficient space for a prime position to place his Cinemascope camera and shoot scenic views of the villages. The trip, approximately 1600 miles, lasted a week and as the boat slid along the river, John filmed many small localities that had not changed since Stanley’s era. However, a key question remained for Brom: had the people stayed the same as well, or had they changed?
Stanley’s heroic descent and navigation of the Congo as described in Chapter Twelve was saturated with incredible dangers and constant attacks by cannibalistic river tribes that, upon sighting the expedition yelled, “Flesh, Flesh!” It was hard to imagine that the friendly village people standing on the banks in 1956 were the first and second generation descendants of the wild and savage villagers of the days of Stanley.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.