News and reviews

African Apocalypse premiered at the BFI London film festival on 16 October, 2020. Visit here to see opinions, news and review

By Rob Lemkin –   August 17, 2023

In the centre of the square of May Jirgui, a Nigérien town on the edge of the Sahel, five hundred miles east of the capital, Niamey, are the graves of two French soldiers who were shot dead at the spot in July 1899.



By Rob Lemkin –    September 7, 2023

May Jirgui befindet sich ungefähr 700 Kilometer östlich der Hauptstadt Niamey am Rande der Sahelzone. Auf dem zentralen Platz der kleinen Stadt liegen hinter einem hüfthohen Metallzaun die Gräber von zwei französischen Soldaten, die im Juli 1899 hier erschossen wurden.


By Rob Lemkin –   September 6, 2023

Au centre de la place de May Jirgui, une ville nigérienne au bord du Sahel, à cinq cents kilomètres à l’est de la capitale, Niamey, se trouvent les tombeaux de deux soldats français abattus sur place en juillet 1899.


By Adam Tyson – July 11, 2023

The all-day event included a screening of the BBC/BFI feature documentary “African Apocalypse” and was followed by a series of talks with director Rob Lemkin on the film’s diverse themes and developments.


By Sabina Barone – December 22, 2022

This film is about ghosts. Ghosts of the past that even while they slumbered have continued to influence the present.


By Bridget Anderson – November 1, 2022

“Migration Mobilities Bristol”

‘African Apocalypse’: the imperial violence behind today’s migration


By Rob Lemkin and Femi Nylander – December 12, 2021

“The War on Téra”

Africa is a Country


By Rob Lemkin and Femi Nylander – November 23, 2021

“Colonial accountability in Niger”

Le Monde Diplomatique


By Rob Lemkin and Femi Nylander – Decembre 1, 2021

“Massacres de la mission Voulet-Chanoine. Quelle justice aujourd’hui ?”

Afrique XXI


By Rob Lemkin and Femi Nylander – November 19, 2021

“The Case for Reparations and Revisiting Colonial Atrocities”

The Elephant


By Rob Lemkin and Femi Nylander – November 11, 2021

“Colonial accountability in transition”

Africa is a Country


By Rob Lemkin  – November 8, 2021

“The Making of African Apocalypse”

Grierson Awards 2021 Blog


Letters September 24, 2021

“Origins of Mr Kurtz”



Rob Lemkin  Sept 10, 2021

“Meet Mr Kurtz”



Femi Nylander  June 2, 2021

“African Apocalypse”



Femi Nylander  May 21, 2021

“My journey into today’s beating heart of darkness”



Amina Weira  May 21, 2021

Amina Weira on African Apocalypse

CLICK to play video


Saskia Hume  May 15, 2021

“Rogue French army captain who turned from promising officer to depraved war criminal”



Anne-Marie Bissada  Mar 5, 2021

“This is deep history that still hasn’t been acknowledged”



Femi Nylander & Rob Lemkin  Feb 16, 2021

“Will Macron’s new commission face up to all of France’s colonial atrocities?”


Phil Hoad  Oct 30, 2020

Startling journey into Niger’s Heart of Darkness. Nylander is doing invaluable work here, disinterring another collectively obscured tragedy and presenting it back to Europe as part of a long-overdue revision of colonialism  ****”


Hanna Flint  Oct 28, 2020

Joseph Conrad’s classic novella Heart of Darkness – and the film Apocalypse Now – examined colonial brutality. Yet as a new documentary points out, they missed the most crucial voices – those of the victims ”


Andy Lea  Oct 30, 2020

A harrowing but hugely important film *****”

Kaleem Aftab  Oct 30, 2020

“Colonialism is the ultimate cancel culture. It’s cancelled culture after culture after culture”


James Hanton    Oct 17, 2020

With powerful, unsettling imagery and a dedication to hearing those voices which white history has tried to drown out, African Apocalypse is compelling, essential viewing  ****”

Tammy V   Oct 26, 2020

Necessary and well-timed *****



Jane Clark   Feb 17, 2021

” Escaping the Lion’s Jaw”


Cameron Aitcheson-Labarr   Feb 18, 2021

“What I found so astounding about the film was how effortlessly it explores a multitude of political issues” THE PLATFORM


Steve Sheehan   Oct 30, 2020

African Apocalypse is one of only a handful of films that recall a history preferably forgotten by the West, but if production companies are serious about changing their own patterns of behaviour, it should also be the first of many. 8 out of 10″


Mathew Anderson
Oct.17 2020

“As rich and articulate as it is deeply shocking. The depth of context given is impressive, but it is with the testimony of the many people whose recollections we hear that this background comes to the fore, punching home the film’s message ****”

Leila Latif  Oct 17, 2020

“A revolutionary interpretation of Conrad’s novel.What resonates most in African Apocalypse is the voice of the Nigeriens. The film doesn’t just chart Voulet’s journey but his impact on Niger and the generational trauma still being passed down”.

Maryam Philpott  Oct 17, 2020

“Raw in its fury. Lemkin’s film is beautifully shot, giving a richness to the people and the landscape that allows them to tell this story. The combination of Nylander’s intimate approach and Lemkin’s immersive style force the audience into this film as we confront the terrible deeds  *****”

MaryAnn Johansen      Oct 30, 2020

“In an intimate yet shattering documentary, Black British activist Femi Nylander searches for “the imperial history they didn’t teach at school,” and finds it. Heartbreaking, provocative, illuminating   ****+”

Paul Salt   Oct 16, 2020

“African Apocalypse is a fascinating story that is at once a literary study, an explosive exploration of past shame and an urgent warning from history  ****”

Soren Hough  Oct 27, 2020

The film’s steadfast interest in the angry testimonies of the descendants of those tormented by Voulet reinforces the historical narrative’s horrifying sense of tangibility”


Shaun Munro   Oct 17, 2020

“A multi-faceted character study which not only attempts to get into the mind of its focal killer, but also digs deep into the psyche of Nylander himself. African Apocalypse wrestles with the savagery of western civilisation in uniquely disquieting fashion, while considering how the sins of the national past can be redressed today ****”

Chris Manc  Oct 26, 2020

“Sometimes a piece of work is created during a certain moment in time, when the stars align and its creation becomes all the more profound ****”

John Percival  Nov 2, 2020

Every European would be well served by a viewing of African Apocalypse. It tackles a topic most are scared to discuss with a great deal of compassion and humility, while not shying away from the horrific nature of what occurred”.


Jakub Flasz  Oct 30, 2020

Just like Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, African Apocalypse is difficult to sit through. It’s languid, dense and the gruesome subject matter is anxiety-inducing. But – again, like Conrad’s book – it is indispensable ”



Alexa Dalby   Nov 1, 2020

African Apocalypse is a brilliant revelation of a little-known truth behind Africa’s post-colonial history and how that may contribute to today’s Black Lives Matter movement in which Nylander is active ”



Rebecca C   Oct 31, 2020

The filmmakers made a very creative choice in how to tell this story, yes it’s a documentary but the way that it’s put together is much more in a narrative fashion”.


Carol Nahra Nov 3, 2020

” An engrossing narrative with many layers which succeeds in querying colonialism and bringing its often terrible legacy into the here and now”.


Sunny Ramgolam   Oct 17, 2020

“The documentary is a timely one. As 2020 has also been a year of acknowledging historical and modern racism, African Apocalypse opens eyes on the continuing impact of colonial powers and the incomplete picture that is presented. A fascinating combination of history and film”.

Alton Williams  Oct 27, 2020

“There is hope – the division in the film is supplanted with unity and culminates in some truly stunning scenes of Femi, transformed from a stoic bystander to an active participant in memorial and remembrance”.

Anahit Behrooz    Oct 17, 2020

“African Apocalypse works best when it is unafraid, tracing the topography of European violence through statues at Oxford and graves in Niger, and revealing a legacy of colonialism woven into the very fabric of our landscapes. An impeccable act of research and historic intervention”.

Ivan Radford    Oct 30, 2020

A powerful, informative and thought-provoking watch, one that explores the way that the past still shapes the present, even as its subjects defiantly ensure that it won’t dictate their future.”.

Audrey Owusu   Oct 17, 2020

The visceral documentary experience that is African Apocalypse”.

Tolu Ositelu   Oct 17, 2020

Lemkin’s African Apocalypse says as much about the complexities of post-colonial identities as it does about the barbarism of Empire”.

Andrew Murray    Oct 17, 2020

Deeply poignant, insightful and effecting, African Apocalypse is the voice of generations who’ve been silent for decades–and whose stories can finally be heard”.

Hal Kitchen    Oct 17, 2020

One of the more unexpected gems of the festival comes in the form of Rob Lemkin’s extraordinary documentary, African Apocalypse”.

Jane Douglas-Jones    Oct 20, 2020

African Apocalypse’s cinematography is stunning – occasionally reminding us of Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation. The mix makes for a tense and disturbing cinematic experience”.

Ama Biney    Oct 25, 2020

So much of Africa’s history remains to be told in ways that engage our people and make them centre stage, as this film succeeds in doing”.


Tolu Akinsanya   Oct 25, 2020

Film review and Rob Lemkin and Femi Nylander interview by Tolu Akinsanya


Charles Williams     Oct 27, 2020

“This documentary could happily sit in any future UK curriculum and should be lauded for its unflinching and graphic detailing of a forgotten despot“.

Jim Ross    Oct 30, 2020

“AFRICAN APOCALYPSE is not an examination of grainy photographs and dusty historical sources but one of an enduring legacy of oppression and white supremacy“.

Jack Blackwell    Oct 30, 2020

African Apocalypse is a vital look at the barbaric consequences of colonialism that gives important insight into a country often overlooked on the world stage“.

Roxanne Reviews   Oct 30, 2020

“This documentary is highly moving, deeply affecting and thought provoking. Learning about the colonial history and spiritual culture of Niger spurred me to do my own research and I hope it has a similar effect on others“.

Femi interviewed by Kelechi Okafor   Oct 26, 2020

from 40 minutes into podcast 118 The Fall of Celebrity…. on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom

Naman Ramachandran
Sept. 08 2020

‘African Apocalypse’ among BFI London Film Festival Selections

Rob Lemkin’s “African Apocalypse,” where British-Nigerian poet, activist and the film’s co-writer Femi Nylander travels to West Africa to uncover the secrets of a colonial killer whose spirit lives on…