By Hipolito Navarrete, Managing Editor/Publisher
The latest cinematic installation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs creation is now in theaters and “The Legend of Tarzan,” is very cinematic. The shots are beautiful, Tarzan and Jane are beautiful and they continue the love story that drives the romance in dangerous times theme. The performances are very strong and the story does demand suspension of belief, but so do Star Wars, and just about every work of fiction.
The beauty of this film is that it reintroduces to the world several stories that are new to many folks. The turbulent times we are living have an original source and the suffering apparently is not over. Through Samuel Jackson’s character, George Washington Williams; we are taken to the events that helped to destroy the Congo and almost destroy a people. Leopold II, French in full Léopold-Louis-Philippe-Marie-Victor, Dutch in full Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor (born April 9, 1835, Brussels, Belgium—died December 17, 1909, Laeken), king of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909. In the story, George Washington Williams is introduced immediately as the co-star and as the story moves along, we get some rough historical glimpses of what was done to the African people of the Congo by the Belgian King Leopold II of Belgium. He, in essence, “owned” the Congo during his reign as the constitutional monarch of Belgium. His avarice murdered over 10 million Africans.
George Washington Williams was born in Pennsylvania on October 16, 1849. Mr. Williams was an American Civil War soldier, Christian minister, politician, lawyer, journalist, and writer on African-American history. Shortly before his death he travelled to King Leopold II’s Congo Free State. Although the storyline for Mr. Williams may be fiction, he also brings into our awareness the genocide of the Native Americans. One of the personal emotional drivers for Mr. Williams is his regret in participating in the massacres.
The Legend of Tarzan is a Hollywood film made to entertain; it must recoup its investment. However, this version also is designed to make us aware and to encourage research the tragic past of many of our neighbor’s ancestors.