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Clarewood Documentary Viewing: Sam and Family

Sunday, September 15, 2019, 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM
Home of Mary Goldstein
Berkeley, CA  
Mary Goldstein
Interest Group
Registration is not available online - contact the event coordinator
Feel free to bring snacks to share, but no popcorn, please, as some of us are allergic.
No Fee

RSVP: Mary Goldstein (

When: Sunday, September 15, 2-4 PM

Where: Home of Mary Goldstein (RSVP for address) 

Open to:
 Members & volunteers

Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible

“Sam and Family: 10 years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”:  photos and talk by Sam Duncan i.e  a documentary presentation by our own documentarian, Sam Duncan.

In Sam’s own words:  “The presentation is about the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo): its history and culture, along with what I learned from working there for ten years as a teacher at a branch of the national university. There will be photos from my time there, which will help explain some of the culture, daily life, and hardships of the Congolese. It will also show some of the challenges faced by our family, as well as some of the good we did. Many of the hardships are the result of actions of the United States around the time that independence was granted from Belgium, which was about ten years before our arrival there."


If anyone would like to learn how quite a few of the problems of the Congo came about, you might read any of these books or watch the documentary:

1. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Terrorism in Colonial Africa (1998) by Adam Hochschild (a member of Ashby Village), a best-selling book that won several history prizes.

2. The Poisonwood Bible (1998) by Barbara Kingsolver, a novel about a missionary family who came to the Congo just before independence in 1960. It’s a good allegory of how the US treated the Congo, and depicts a realistic view of the lives of the Congolese. (We arrived there in 1970, and I knew some of the people who were used as characters in the book.)

3. The Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad, a novel written while the Congo was still the personal property of King Leopold. Note that the “darkness” was not that of the Congo, but of Leopold and his minions.

4. There is a free movie documentary on Amazon Prime titled King Leopold’s Ghost, which was made years after the book was written. Adam Hochschild appears in it several times with new comments. It’s very graphic, and is perhaps more difficult to bear than the book. But it takes into account the new declarations of the Belgian government after they created a commission to inform the world about the true history of the Congo.”

Please do not try to register on this website.  Instead, to reserve a seat, please email Mary Goldstein, our hostess, at for the address and to reserve your seat at the film showing (and also to cancel your reservation if your plans have changed.

When you come, please avoid fragrances in personal care products as well as in laundry products.

Feel free to bring snacks to share, but no popcorn, please, as some of us are allergic.