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

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Stars: Patrice Lumumba
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Patrice Émery Lumumba
...
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 ...
BAUDOIN
Alain Bouillé ...
Le pilote du Dakota
Pavel Dobrovsky ...
Belgian soldier
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Storyline

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

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Details

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Release Date:

27 September 2000 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Lumumba, retour au Congo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

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

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

inspiring tragedy
13 January 2004 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I liked this film but to like it, you must know more about the history of Congo. You must also know some more about Belgians and their disrespect (and that is a metaphore!) of the Congolese state.

Lumumba and the Congolese people didn't deserve this as he was right. We Belgians did exploit them for decades. But just because Lumumba reacted not so friendly to Bwana Kitoko (the king was called this way by the Congolese in a previous visit, he was hailed as a great leader) they had to further destabilize Congo and assassinate Lumumba. So he called for the help of the USSR, that was his only option as everybody else was against him. For the Congolese people the US didn't do anything like they did for us with the Marshall Plan. They did support Mobutu's cruel dictatorial rule with lots of money. What good did that do for the average Congolese?

And the trouble didn't stop with the flight of Mubutu. In modern sociological terms, Congo is considered a failed state. And that has it's reasons (and we Belgians are responsible for a large part of those). I hope that Lumuba's dream will still come true and that the Congolese peace process will last so peace and a way of living that is accepted by all Congolese may finally come for them.

Back to the film: You can't expect to understand the complex situation the new independent Congo was put in just by watching this film. That's like thinking the film Enemy at the Gates will explain me everything about the battle of Stalingrad. The film is restricted in many ways and the viewer must understand that. first: It's a film, not a documentary. Some of the scenes are interpretations but they are needed for the plot. second: The main character is Lumumba. Not everything about the troubles in Katanga or elsewhere is told, neither is everything about Mobutu told. It would have been an endless film that way. third: The film is an African film, let them create their own ways of telling this story. White people shouldn't tell them how to tell a story. But I'm glad that some funded this film that tell some people more about an unclear history. It might encourage them to find out more about Lumumba or various other things after the credits roll away and that is a good thing.


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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