Film: 8339

War + Military | 1960 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A film by a Ghanaian film crew detailing United Nations forces sent to the Congo shortly after independence to keep law and order. The main focus is Ghana's role in this process. The UN's involvement in the Congo, Africa after independence

The film's title is superimposed over a rural African scene. " A pictorial record of Ghana's help to the people of the Congo". Ghanaian soldiers line up at army headquarters in Ghana on July 16th 1960. The soldiers wear black berets and possibly khaki shirts and pants. They have back packs on their backs and these are ties with rope. Each soldier carries a rifle by his side. They are preparing to go into the Congo to help that government with civil unrest since its independence. The soldiers file away in three columns.

Four commanding officers in similar uniforms except for the caps, give instructions. They march over a dusty parade ground. Prime minister of the Congo Patrice Lamumba has asked Ghana for military aid. The soldiers climb into the back of a military truck. Their backpacks have helmets strapped to them. The truck is covered with a canvas material. A shot of the Ghana airport Akra(?) shows a four storey building white building with flimsy aerial on top. Several cars dating to the 1950's are in the foreground. A few people drift past . A large silver troop carrier plane with the markings "US AIR FORCE" taxis on the runway. The number of the plane is "521". It has two sets of propellers on each wing. A troop of soldiers walks across the tarmac carrying backpacks on their heads. Officers with clipboards discuss strategy on the tarmac with a plane in the background. The planes are on their way to aid the "brother African people". The camera shows close ups of the troops as they stand to attention on the tarmac. A scaffolding stand is full of spectators who watch the soldiers board the aircraft. A white officer wearing shorts and long socks stands at the base of the steps up to the plane and watches them embark. The soldiers walk up the stairs to the plane. The stairs say "Ghana Airways" as does the side of the plane. A Ghanaian emblem adorns the top of the stairs. Several portly Ghanaian ministers watch the soldiers depart. AN army officer holds a machine gun in hi right hand and explains to the minister how it works.

A Ghana Airways plane taxis down the runway. Soldiers board a plane with twin propellers on each wing. The steps have "BOAC" written on them. While soldiers board, others pick up their back packs form the tarmac. A plane taxis on the runway. On the side it says "Royal Air Force Transport Command". A Russian (Soviet Union) aircraft taxis down the runway. Russian writing on the side of the fuselage and the letters "CCCP" near the tail. It also has tow propeller son each wing. The scaffolding stands are full of spectators who watch the planes depart. A plane taxis and takes off. They are all planes of the "United Nations Operation Congo".

A shot of the African countryside shows bush separated by a winding river. In the distance a bridge crosses the river. An aerial view of Leopoldville, the Congo capital, shows a semi-suburban area with empty streets and lots of green tress between buildings and houses. The same aerial shot shows military trucks parked to the side of a deserted main road. Close up of cars in a dealership parking lot. A montage of shots shows damaged and burnt out cars. A plane taxis on the runway towards a ground controller who shows it the way. The captain of the plane stands by the exit as soldiers disembark. The words "Royal Air Mail" is written on the side of the door. Soldiers with guns exit the plane. The Ghana army commander marches his men away from the planes. The "US AIT FORCE" plane is visible in the background. They march towards the hangar. Several officers discuss strategy on the bonnet of a car/jeep. All except for one is white. A man speaks into an army radio. Another sits next to a radio and listens through a headset. Three white men in an army jeep drive past. A jeep full of soldiers drives through the centre of town. Pedestrians watch as it drives by. An advert for Martini is plastered above one of the shop entrances. A VW beetle is in background, while another is parked in the foreground. 50's style cars are parked on the side of the streets. A group of men in white shirts wave at the soldiers. Soldiers climb into army trucks with backpacks and guns, The trucks have no covering, just a metal frame on the back. A jeep drives past with a group of soldiers in the back. It's followed by a truck full of soldiers. A government building( roughly 20 floors high) is guarded at the base by groups of soldiers. Some patrol with guns at the ready while others stand guard. A soldier with a gun lies in the grass while an officer speaks on the mobile communications. Other Ghanaian soldiers guard Leopoldville power station.

Ghanaian ministers walk through a courtyard. One holds a traditional African tribal stick. They meet some of the Ghanaian soldiers. One minister speaks
to the soldiers and the examines the dog tags around the neck of a bear chested soldier who is standing to attention. Soldiers and several cars float across a river on a flat craft made for river crossings. Two media types watch them-one films while the other takes a photograph. Congo prime minister Lumumba and president Kasa-Vubu step into an open top car. The door is held open for them by a man in a pith helmet and possibly safari suit. Both men wear tuxedo's. Crowds of people wave at them .They ride in an open topped Chevrolet (?) and wave to soldiers as they drive up a ramp from the river. The soldiers line both sides of the ramp. Soldiers in khaki/brown outfits stand with hands behind their backs. Mr Lumumba stands on a wooden table, finger in the air and addresses the crowd. Several close ups of the faces of his entourage listening to his speech. The soldiers clap. Soldiers wave goodbye to him and the prime minister. As they drive off. The driver wears an all-white outfit and cap. The car is followed by two soldiers on motorcycles and then another car. Soldiers and civilians wave as the procession passes.

A shot of the Congo airport. Several large planes sit on the tarmac in the background. In the foreground military personnel drift about while rows of army trucks sit on the tarmac. Soldiers load supplies onto a plane. Soldiers wheel crates of equipment across the tarmac. A US Air Force plane waits in the background. A land rover reverses into a plane.

A ship sits at the docks. It's called "Tano River". A crane lifts a net full of boxes onto the ship. Several men guide it upwards and off the back of a truck. Men on board the ship pull the rope to haul the net of boxes onto the deck. Three of the boxes read "Becks Beer". A tow truck is lifted by rope onto the deck, Barefoot men ease the rope as the truck is lowered into the hold. A US Air Force plane lands A soldier points to where it should park. Three senior looking officers watch its arrival. Moroccan soldiers disembark the plane form its undercarriage. The soldiers form three single lines and march off the tarmac. Waiting soldiers greet the Moroccans by exchanging gifts with the newly arrived men. Men wait in line to exchange gifts. Some carry boxes under their arms. One man has brought a goat.

A five piece band plays to entertain the soldiers. The troops sit on the ground amongst trees to listen. They are relaxed and clearly at ease. Some smoke, others eat. An Army band, all with flutes plays as soldiers board an American carrier. More troops gather on the tarmac, ready to board planes. They are Ghanaian police and they stand to attention as they are addressed by a senior officer. They wear white Bermuda shorts, black pullovers and fez-like hats with tassels down the front. Each has a rifle in his hand, with butt resting on the floor. There are white kit bags in front of them. They march to the plane. , kit bags over their shoulders. Another company of police boards the plane. They are dressed the same except their shorts are black. The US Air Force plane taxis down the runway. A major in white uniform marches the policeman down the street in Leopoldville. Crowds walk alongside as the police march through the streets. They are followed by a full army brass band wearing khaki uniforms and black caps. Cyclists ride around the cameraman and wave as they see the camera. The police march into town. Thousands of civilians walk along with them. They applaud the police. The crowd seems pleased, a carnival atmosphere. The brass band plays a peppy tune. The crowds applaud. A Ghanaian policeman stands I the middle of a small group of happy and admiring men and children. The touch his cap and the emblem on his cap. He explains something to his admires.

People sit outdoors at table and chairs and watch a band. Close up of the band's guitarist and a couple dancing arm in arm. Close up of a hand playing a drum dissolves to the same couple now standing one behind the other in a hip-swaying dance. Another couple dance arm in arm. The woman is shy and won't look at the camera. Close up of the flute player. A couple dance. She wears traditional African headwear and matching African skirt. Men drink beer as they sit in the shade of an outdoor bar.

The camera pans around Leopoldville business centre. The camera pans around sparsely populated shops with few goods and fewer customers. Buses, cars and cyclists drive down a street. Cars and military jeeps park outside a low slung building. U.N. secretary general Dag Hammerskjold, Presidentl Kasa-Vubu and General Van Horn, the UN forces commander, mill about for a photo-op outside the building. The men get into open topped cars and drive off, followed by motor cycles and other cars. Jeeps with military police follow too.

The camera pans across several troop carrier planes and stops at a shot of the airport/ Two men in suits walk towards the camera. One takes out a pen and notepaper and starts writing.

Several men in an air traffic control centre talk to each other. A man with a UN armband watches a plane through binoculars from inside the tower. A plane taxis down the runway. Several airplanes sit on the tarmac as the camera pans around. A man reads the meter of a wind powered mechanism. Several men are in an office working. A man cycles past a run-down building. A woman with a baby tied to her back walks out into her house while several children jostle to be in shot. Thousands of people mill about a street market. Several women have laid out their wares on blankets on the ground. Close ups of several people at the market. A black baby plays with a grass bag a her mother's feet. A woman smiles as she poses with her baby. Children smile into the camera as they sit and squat on the ground. Exterior shot of a hospital with cars parked outside. A sign on the hospital wall says "Hopital de Kintambo". A group of dignitaries walk up to the hospital gates where they are let in by armed soldiers. Children stare through the bars of the gate. The dignitaries shake hands with a soldier and walk on. Close up of an undernourished, naked black baby playing with a bucket. The group admire women with their children. The dignitaries meet a group of men in white coats, possibly doctors. Close up of several women in white holding their babies. Montage of babies and children. One bay sits on the floor, part wrapped in a blanket. She has food messed around her mouth and she sucks the blanket. She notices the camera, smiles widely and throws the blanket down with joy. A woman in white stands next to young boy and holds a baby. Closing shot is of the flag of the Congo flapping in the wind. It has a large star in the centre and five smaller ones down the left hand side.


To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 8339.