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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 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
Frank Carlucci, who was second secretary at the U.S. embassy in the Congo at the time of Lumumba's assassination, is portrayed in one scene discussing the murder with U.S. Ambassador Clare Timberlake and several Belgian and Congolese officials. Carlucci threatened to sue U.S. distributor Zeitgeist Films if his name was not removed from the movie. Zeitgeist was too small to fight any potential lawsuit, so all non-theatrical U.S. releases of the film (including the version shown on HBO and potential VHS and DVD releases) have Carlucci's name bleeped from the dialogue and masked in the closing credits. See more »
This film has both people that enjoy and people that loathe it. However I was struck by the fact at how many non-Africans had seen and commented on this film. Here we see a massive problem arising.
Firstly: It is a fact that African history was passed along orally and the only real written history in Africa was created with the advent of missionaries on the continent. To this day there are more books written about African history by non-Africans than there have been of Africans. This means that Africa has seldom, if ever, been presented the way it sees itself. "Lumumba" is a film made by an African filmmaker, shot on the African continent with African actors and yet we see Americans and Europeans commenting on it!
The fact is that most of these people have an imagined history of Africa. On user commented that the USA was 'forced' to intervene in Congo, because "Lumumba" called in the USSR to help out his army. What the hell was the USA doing in Africa in the first place? And I answer; they were securing their economic interests. How dare outside powers even allow to excuse their intervention in the African continent, when they are in majority at fault for the situation many African countries find themselves in today.
Secondly: There were a couple of comments on the acting and style that this film was made in. Many people don't realize that the entire world does not exclusively copy the Hollywood model. We see different characters in different environments. "Lumumba" shows a different view on an African hero and even though this view is not entirely accurate, what view ever is.
So don't watch and judge this film according to your standards, because you most likely have no idea what you are talking about. Rather than being prejudiced towards the film, just let it talk to you and present you with its argument...for a change!
34 of 43 people found this review helpful.
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