A few months later I found myself an inmate in a different Congo jail, watching the sad and the destitute slumped against walls. We were hungry, fed rice only three times a week. We huddled together with shadows of Kurtz cast by light from the one small window in the filthy cell door. The treatment by the guards was brutal, inflicting constant beatings, humiliation and abuse. Pairs of eyes stared at me in the darkness and I felt I was watching "the complete deathlike indifference of unhappy savages" that Conrad must have seen first-hand as a riverboat captain before he wrote
During that first trip up the river I was struck by the enduring accuracy of the images Conrad described. With every step I took and boat I travelled on I could hear his words. It was in these shadows of riverbanks, hospitals and cells where I began to witness Congos true horror: the Congolese leaders have assumed the guises of their colonial predecessors and, life for the Congolese people is as desperate and as dire as it was in the time of Kurtz. Now I have spent two years following, not Conrad, but the Congolese. Seeing their shadows as he first saw them, recording with each frame their anonymous lives, witnessing through the lens of Conrad, the imprint of one hundred years of darkness.