6.8/10
193
4 user 10 critic

Black Jesus (1968)

Seduto alla sua destra (original title)
GP | | Drama | 25 August 1971 (USA)
Rebel Maurice Lalubi is arrested by the military on trumped up charges and tortured, which turns him into a martyr. Inspired by the final days of the first democratic Congolese leader, Patrice Lumumba.

Director:

Valerio Zurlini

Writers:

Valerio Zurlini (story), Franco Brusati (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Woody Strode ... Maurice Lalubi
Franco Citti ... Oreste
Jean Servais ... Commander
Pier Paolo Capponi ... Officer
Stephen Forsyth ... Prisoner (as Stephen Forsyte)
Luciano Catenacci Luciano Catenacci ... Sergeant (as Luciano Lorcas)
Salvatore Basile ... (as Salvo Basile)
Giuseppe Transocchi Giuseppe Transocchi
Silvio Fiore Silvio Fiore
Renzo Rossi Renzo Rossi
Mirella Pamphili ... (as Mirella Panfili)
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Storyline

A Congo rebel leader is captured and imprisoned with two white felons in this 81-minute feature containing religious symbolism and condemnation of colonial exploitation. Maurice Lalubi is thrown in jail with a soldier and an Italian thief. The trio endures torture at the hands of their captors, while a newly formed military regime decides the fate of the insurgent. The entire horror of the confrontation is seen through his eyes throughout Lalubi's interrogation and torture. His imminent demise could turn him into a martyr and spell trouble for the new government dictator in this sometimes violent film. Written by Clint Weiler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He who ain't with me--is AGAINST me.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

25 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Seated at His Right See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally planned as an episode of the collective movie Love and Anger (1969), it was eventually expanded to a feature length. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Come of Age (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated, under-seen gem about love, cruelty, and humanity
23 September 2009 | by JimB-4See all my reviews

Little known but terrifically effective Italian film originally titled "Seduto all sua destra" ("Seated at His Right"), but retitled in the US "Black Jesus" to take advantage of the blaxploitation film trend of the 1970s, this is not remotely a blaxploitation film. Former athlete-turned-wonderful-actor Woody Strode (best known for "Spartacus," "The Professionals," and "Sergeant Rutledge") has the most prominent role of his career as a thinly disguised Patrice Lumumba, the charismatic revolutionary of the Belgian Congo. Generally described and reviewed as a highly political film about the Belgian (and other European) exploitation of Africa, in reality this film has (maybe unintentionally) a simpler meaning at its heart: the contrast between love and cruelty. Yes, the film pits primarily "evil" Europeans against almost exclusively benign Africans. Yes, the Marxist inclinations of the filmmaker (Valerio Zurlini) are quite evident. But taken at face value, there is much less in this film about politics than there is about how casually some men can be cruel--terribly cruel--and how central to the core of what it means to be human love and mercy are. From that viewpoint, what many have pointed out as heavy-handed Christ symbolism (and it is blatant) is not so much a political point as it is a poem about the kindness that can be found in the human heart even in the most degrading circumstances. Woody Strode (even in the dubbed version) is amazing, not only for his stunning physical presence (anyone who saw his gladiator fight with Kirk Douglas in "Spartacus" knows what I'm talking about), but for the humanity that bursts from the screen whenever he is in view. This is not a film without flaws (especially in the version easily available), but it's a wonderfully effective film despite those flaws, and presents far more in a simple way than at first meets the eye.


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