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The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Using newly discovered historical ... See full summary »



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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Documentary about African political leader Patrice Lumumba, who was Prime Minister of Zaire (now Congo) when he was assassinated in 1961.

Director: Raoul Peck
Stars: Patrice Lumumba


Credited cast:
Patrice Émery Lumumba
Alex Descas ...
Théophile Sowié ...
Maurice Mpolo (as Théophile Moussa Sowie)
Maka Kotto ...
Joseph Kasa Vubu
Dieudonné Kabongo ...
Godefroid Munungo
Pascal N'Zonzi ...
Moïse Tshombe
André Debaar ...
Walter J. Ganshof Van der Meersch
Cheik Doukouré ...
Joseph Okito
Makena Diop ...
Thomas Kanza (as Oumar Diop Makena)
Mariam Kaba ...
Pauline Lumumba
Rudi Delhem ...
Général Emile Janssens
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Francis Adam ...
Le maître d'hôtel
Olivier Bony ...
Alain Bouillé ...
Le pilote du Dakota
Pavel Dobrovsky ...
Belgian soldier


The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Using newly discovered historical evidence, Haitian-born and later Congo-raised writer and director Raoul Peck renders an emotional and tautly woven account of the mail clerk and beer salesman with a flair for oratory and an uncompromising belief in the capacity of his homeland to build a prosperous nation independent of its former Belgium overlords. Lumumba emerges here as the heroic sacrificial lamb dubiously portrayed by the international media and led to slaughter by commercial and political interests in Belgium, the United States, the international community, and Lumumba's own administration; a true story of political intrigue and murder where political entities, captains of commerce, and the military dovetail in their quest for economic and political hegemony. Written by L. J. Allen-2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

27 September 2000 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Lumumba, retour au Congo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$24,625 (USA) (29 June 2001)


$684,121 (USA) (14 December 2001)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The final script is the result of documentary research. Another source is "Une saison au Congo", a play by Aimé Césaire. See more »


[first lines]
Patrice Émery Lumumba: [voice over narration] You never knew about that night in Katanga. No one was to know.
See more »


Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Lumumba - More Than Just Black and White.
23 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

To answer the question of a previous reviewer who asked the name of the U.S. official mentioned in "Lumumba", the name of the character is "Mr. Carlucci." Frank Carlucci is reported as having been at that time Second Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in the Congo. Subsequently, among other assignments, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Secretary of Defense, and is now the Chairman of the Carlyle Group. It's hardly surprising that Carlucci's biographical sketch on his web site fails to credit his service in the Belgian Congo. If his name was deliberately censored from the HBO version of "Lumumba" it may have been to avoid the possibility of HBO's being sued in U.S. courts. Carlucci's name, however, is clearly mentioned in the theatre version of "Lumumba" that I saw recently. In the event, I expect that he would deny any involvement in Lumumba's murder.

Others have commented on the evenhandedness with which the film "Lumumba" treats the parties concerned: Lumumba-supporters, other Congolese, even Belgians. A somewhat more sinister view emerges, I think, from the BBC documentary entitled "Who Killed Lumumba?", based on the book "The Murder of Lumumba" by Belgian historian Ludo de Witte. When examined closely, these films demonstrate that the fate of Lumumba and the history of the Congo is not just a matter of black and white. Only Lumumba's murderers believe that.

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