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ACT II: TROPICAL BUNGALOW or ‘La Machine Mystique’ (60 min film)


Tropical Bungalow or ‘La Machine Mystique’ (the mystical machine) is a ritual performance depicting the implosion of the Belgian colonial system in Belgian Congo around 1955. This ritual directed by King Lion I is a semi caricatural reenactment of the daily life of Belgian role models in the segregated society of the Belgian Congo. The actors, the set and the props form the physical machine. Once the parts of the machine are set in motion through the process of acting, the voices of Flemish and Congolese forefathers of the colonial Congo awakens, reconstructing history as a ritual. 

The story takes place in the Tropical Bungalow. The first typology of the“maison coloniale” with the all round veranda, or barza, used as an instrument of environmental control but soon considered as “a refuge des parresseux”. The Tropical Bungalow is the home and the sanctuary of the colonist, the heart of the colonial system.

Tropical Bungalow is an experimental essay film, in which the implosion/the fall of the Belgian colonial system is reenacted and analysed from unexpected point of views on colonial history. Certain social groups of this history and their experiences of colonial reality haven't received enough attention. This symbolic ritual is a performance meant to recall the unknown or less known voices of the Flemish and Belgian colonial past.

The Flemish and the Belgian society tend to avoid this difficult part of history. Tropical Bungalow is an exorcism to save Flanders from the ghosts of the colonial past, so Flanders can focus on its super-diverse future society.

Tropical Bungalow is a 60-minute film essay. The script is written by John K Cobra and the Flemish writer, performance and theatermaker Lotte Lola Vermeer and in collaboration with dramaturg Esther Severi. This project is produced by Polar Bear TV with the financial support of The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF). 


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