Berlin, 1885

Berlin, 1885

The Africa Conference

In 1884, under the chairmanship of Bismarck, the most powerful countries of the world came together to divide Africa amongst themselves. Not one of the diplomats present had ever set foot on the continent.

They came from France, Portugal, England, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, the Ottoman Empire and the United States, and their interests were quite different: some saw tremendous economic opportunities while others dreamed of an Empire. They drew lines and erected borders on a continent completely foreign to them, totally ignoring cultural and geographical circumstances. No African was present at the conference or even consulted on the items discussed.

Today, in the basement of the Foreign Office in Berlin, the protocol of the conference is kept. That is the starting point of this high quality docu-drama, portraying four months of arduous negotiation. Supported by experts from Europe, Africa and the U.S., and showing never before seen photos and "slides" of the 19th century, the film gives an insight into a tragic piece of world history. It helps the viewer understand better present African politics and the continent’s many bloody conflicts.