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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 »
Wow. What a fabulous film. The artists are to be congratulated and thanked for making this whole era come to life.
Should you go to this movie? Well, my wife didn't want to go because she guessed that it would be upsetting. She was correct: It IS deeply upsetting to see cruelty, treachery, panic, wobbly social institutions, etc.
On the other hand, there's nothing like a strong dose of the truth. I don't know enough Congolese history to have an opinion on the accuracy of this tale, but the movie certainly had an emotional truth to it.
In fact, it reminded me of something Meryl Streep once said. She mentioned that the purpose of a movie is to tell you what it felt like to be there -- wherever "there" might happen to be. By that standard, this movie succeeded. The film showed me -- a white guy from an American suburb -- what it means to have guts and commitment to high ideals during the most chaotic of times.
If that sounds intriguing to you, go see "Lumumba"!
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