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Guy Moeyaert is a well-meaning colonial official in a jungle district of the Belgian Congo in the last years of white colonial rule, after the Second World War, a paternalistic system where the state, unable to be properly present all over the vast, sparsely populated country, collaborates systematically with the Roman Catholic missions -in his post, father Alexis- and private enterprise, in case mainly the mining company -locally represented by engineer Lenaers- which also helps out with money and labor for such public tasks as road building. Even his grip on the natives is weak, as they live under hereditary tribal leaders, which must take from its people what they are legally obliged to deliver to the state in taxes and labor; coercion is done by force, including whipping on the bare buttocks, which Guy hates. Guy also starts a love affair with Hélène Vermarcke, who gets estranged from her husband Luk (the three were already friends in Belgium) as he devotes all his efforts the their plantation, leaving her alone with the native staff and their son, or is it Guy's? The adultery makes his position in the white community far weaker then is compatible with his position of theoretical authority without sufficient independent means. He also depends heavily on his educated black clerk Gabriel Ndazaru and ambitious white deputy Arthur. It all gets worse for everybody as the call for 'dipenda', black independence as in Ghana, gets stronger, in time even accepted 'in principle' by the Belgian government which plans a gradual transition which the idealist Guy supports but all other whites oppose, while the natives have neither patience nor insight and start attacking every symbol of the old regime, regardless of its objective value, and soon white people and 'collaborators' too- it gets physically dangerous, but Guy won't budge or flee...
|S01E01||1945||20/12/1997||1945, the war is over. Best friends Guy Moeyaert and Luk Vermarcke celebrate their graduation and Luk's marriage to Hélène Vermarcke, who chose him over Guy. They make a pact to stick together whatever happens before moving to the Congo colony. Luc becomes the new assistant administrator, destined to succeed his boss, who warns war wounds wrecked Congo's social fabric. Luc succeeds his dad as manager of a plantation, in concession, in Masisi, in Guy's district. Hélène makes a bad start getting used to colonial life.|
|S01E02||1947||00/00/0000||Mine engineer Jean Roland's son Pierre and his teenage mate, Albert Letong's son Fred, are bored having to spend the summer holidays with their colonial parents. Drinking and car racing cockily are bound to go wrong, but Guy's forensic investigation may run out of time. Helene proves she can neither run the plantation intelligently, nor handle the superstitious black staff. Luckily, Guy thus gets a brand-new second-hand 'cursed' car.|
|S01E03||1950||00/00/0000||1950, the white colonials vote in the referendum on the return of king Leopold III. Guy's resistance against the mine's offer to help with repairing bridges is ultimately overruled by the governor's office. Tribal chief Lwubusi and father Alexis bicker where the mission's new school and medical campus will be founded and whether the wicked, now protestant heir is to be rehabilitated. Guy is the only colonial to approve of the doc marrying black Hortense. Guy hounds mine supervisor François Stévenin, whom another nicker claims to have sired here mulatto baby, until his...|
|S01E05||1955||00/00/0000||In 1955, native superstition objects to cutting a 'sacred' forest tract to expand the mine. To father Alexis's horror, his own young assistant Wim takes the African side. Guy gets a visit from his predecessor Karel Horemans, who thinks more like his present deputy Arthur. Luc's wife's unrealistic expectations and 'un-colonial' priorities wreck their marriage. She moves in with outcast doc Stevenin and his black wife.|
|S01E06||1957||00/00/0000||In 1957, Guy still follows instructions to teach "evolved natives" at the 'cercle' in preparations of autonomy, but is disheartened. His health breaks down, so Arthur takes over, the conventional white-first-way, while father Alexis does the legal teaching. Guy's lover, the nurse, returns, but just then Helene, who left the plantation 'temporarily', was sharing his bed. Luc bitterly concentrates on Thomas' inheritance, but a horrible accident smashes his last dream.|
|S01E07||1959-1960||00/00/0000||The Belgian colonial authorities have scheduled an orderly preparation to independence, but only Guy is naive enough to hope the natives will wait that long. In fact, all work is neglected, insolence soon followed by vandalism and escalates into an anti-white crime wave, which becomes a bloodbath among those who don't get evacuated in time, and natives seen as collaborators.|
Ingrid De Vos (Mevrouw Roland) Rik Van Uffelen (Maurice Vermarcke) Karen van Parijs (Hélène Vermarcke) Dennis Rudge (Gabriel Ndazaru) Lucas van den Eijnde (Guy Moeyaert) Guy Van Sande (Luk Vermarcke) Peter Rouffaer (Ingenieur Lenaers) Michael Pas (Arthur) Hans de Munter (Jean Roland) Roger Bolders (Vader Alexis) Els Dottermans (Anita Lenaers)