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The real-life Captain Kurz: French army captain who turned from promising officer to war criminal

Added 05-16-21 12:36:03am EST - “A BBC documentary is set to suggest Kurtz - later played by Marlon Brando in the 1979 American war film Apocalypse Now - may have been based on captain Paul Voulet (pictured).” - Dailymail.co.uk

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Dailymail.co.uk: “The real-life Captain Kurz: French army captain turned war criminal”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

He is one of twentieth century literatures' most notorious characters, a petty tyrant corrupted by his colonial powers.

Seen as one of author Joseph Conrad's most memorable creations, it had long been assumed that ivory trader Kurtz, a central figure in his 1899 novella Heart of Darkness, had been conjured from his imagination.

Now however a new BBC documentary is set to suggest that Kurtz - later memorably played by Marlon Brando in the 1979 American war film loosely based on the novel, Apocalypse Now - may have been based on captain Paul Voulet, a real-life renegade army captain.

Like the fictional Kurtz, Voulet was stationed in Africa in the late 19th century, where, turning rogue, he oversaw the massacre of thousands of native people.

His story is told in African Apocalypse which, via fascinating archival letters and pictures, traces Voulet's unsettling transformation from promising young French soldier to depraved war criminal.

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