O'Hanlon's Heroes - A series of discoveries through the 19th Century

He was born in the wrong century. Redmond O’Hanlon, the author of bestselling books like Into the heart of Borneo, In trouble again and Congo journey, decides to follow in the footsteps of his heroes: the explorers of the 19th century.
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Documentary - Human Interest & Society , Travel & Adventure, Culture

2 x 8 x 50

Eps. 1.2 Human Flesh

Redmond dives into the life of his hero Paul du Chaillu: the first westerner to be face-to-face with a gorilla. More...
Winner: Zilveren Nipkowschijf Award

Redmond dives into the life of his hero Paul du Chaillu: the first westerner to be face-to-face with a gorilla. Everyone used to love his stories, especially those about his encounters with cannibals in inner Gabon.

Deep in the jungle O'Hanlon meets the grandchildren of those cannibals. But they are not very eager to talk about their man-eating grandfathers.

Today, consuming your fellow man is even prohibited by law in Gabon, although in 1989 an English teacher was still served for supper. Tradition has it that his killers found him very tasty, garnished with some cucumber.

Actually, O'Hanlon was looking for the historic tale. Not for a second did Redmond and his crew assume that this would still be happening today. And why would it? Is human flesh really all that savoury? Little by little Redmond unravels the mystery of contemporary cannibalism. It's not a very cheerful story. It is about power, superstition, and incredible cruelty, that you would not think possible in the 21st century. And, by the way, what was in the fetish that Redmond had made for himself? A piece of a child's finger?

 Grandchildren of cannibals

Even today, almost every week a child is offered up in Gabon. They are found later, severely mangled. Especially in election time this kind of ritual murders is of the order of the day. Politicians, for example, like to increase their eloquence - before addressing their voters - by putting the clitoris of a young girl on their tongue.

This priest tells with relish about the English teacher that was eaten: "avec du concombre, oui!" "They cut out the heart, the tongue or the member from the body. Not because they enjoy eating it, no: these are ritual murders."

Redmond on his way to 'Monsieur le féticheur', still unaware of what they put into this fetish. According to Redmond, sworn atheist, subconsciously there is 'something' that makes him believe in the power of the fetish. But we're not sure that he will ever have another one made after this trip…

Documentary
Roel van Broekhoven, Maaik Krijgsman
2011
VPRO
2 x 8 x 50
VPRO
 
 
 

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