The Queen of Africa

Documentary, 53 minutes
Written and directed by Stephan Lamby

In 1913, three shipwrights from Papenburg receive an unusual order: they have to build a passenger ship and transport it to Lake Tanganyika in German East Africa, deep into the heart of the black continent. An impossible mission! After sailing from Germany to the coast of Africa, the steamer is dismantled and taken to the lake by rail and then on the back of local porters. A few months after the “Graf Goetzen” is put into service, the First World War seizes Eastern Africa. The Germans escape hastily from their colony. Only the three men from Papenburg must remain by the lake and carry out one last command: the “Goetzen” has to be sunk; under no circumstances can it fall into the hands of the enemy.

This documentary is not only about the ship. It is also about the colonial past of Eastern Africa. It illustrates the dream of unlimited possibilities in the 20th century and the attempt of European powers to subjugate an entire continent. The film was shot on original locations in Tanzania, Zambia, Papenburg and Brussels.

First Run:
ARTE, 2001

Legal Claim:
ECO Media TV-Produktion