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Johan Renck To Helm Congo Genocide Tale ‘In The Garden Of The King’

Deadline logo Deadline 7/6/2017 Mike Fleming Jr
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EXCLUSIVE: Anonymous Content has partnered with Made In Africa Films on In The Garden Of The King. Johan Renck, a prolific helmer of Swedish music videos, TV and films, has been set to direct a script by Paul Ian Johnson that focuses on events surrounding the little-known genocide of the Congolese people by King Leopold II of Belgium between 1885-1908. The story is told through the eyes of three protagonists, each living in different parts of the world in different eras: a present-day Belgian aid worker; a Victorian shipping merchant and a colonial Congo girl warrior. Their fates are intertwined by their unexpected involvement in history’s greatest forgotten atrocity — the Belgian genocide in the Congo.

The Revenant producer Keith Redmon of Anonymous Content is producing with Made In Africa’s Philip Contomichalos and Sascha Müller, along with Wise Oake’s James Oakley and Renck.

“This material and its intricate narrative weave sucked me in deep and shook me profoundly,” Renck said. “It is a story that must be told. The darkest aspects of imperialism are still very much prevalent in many cultures around the world; hundreds of years later, and we have a collective responsibility to encounter the deeds of our past. What is done can obviously not be undone, but it can be acknowledged and emphasized. And this is exactly what film can do.”

Speaking for the producers, Made In Africa’s Müller and Philip Contomichalos said, “As responsible filmmakers, it is not only our duty to expose this harrowing story, but to create a cinematic tribute to the countless millions who suffered and died during this dark period of history.”

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