“Africa will write its own history and in both north and south it will be a history of glory and dignity."
On December 7th 2015 the Dutch NPO, equivalent of the BBC, made a giant leap forward in regards to their cultural programming. Namely the NPO made a truly brilliant twelve- part documentary series called “Speeches.”
“Speeches” deals about those words that have inspired and changed many lives, with beautiful interviews of personal stories of those directly involved. It’s those words that became famous because they determined the course of history. Obviously, the series begins with the speech of Martin Luther King , in which he – ’I have a dream’ – proclaimed his dream. But how much has become true of this speech? Speeches investigates…. Watch the episode here and emotional clip here where you can hear Barbara Chaney (sister of James Chaney) speaking about how she feels about "white people”.
Furthermore attention for some of the beautiful words of Margaret Thatcher, John F. Kennedy and Haile Selassie, whose speech survives as a song by reggae star Bob Marley.
Watch the brilliant episodes here. All in english (small parts in Dutch) with dutch subtitles. Series directed by the brilliant Jos de Putter (MORE), Roel van Broekhoven, Maaik Krijgsman, Stefanie de Brouwer.
I highly recommend starting with the Episode of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba because it’s truly mind-bending.
Patrice Lumumba: the most important assassination of the 20th century.
- Read Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja’s Guardian article from Monday 17th of January 2011 here.
- Watch an old clip of Patrice Lumumba seized and forced to eat own speech.
In the last episode of this series (on January 24, 2016 ), the speech held by US President Ronald Reagan in 1986 after the failed launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. He chose in his speech, words of comfort, but left the question of guilt. Directed Roel van Broekhoven, research by Maren Merckx.
Essential viewing for all!
Photo credit: NPO.