Lumumba

( 1 )

Overview

Patrice Lumumba was a passionate advocate for freedom in colonial Africa, and when the Belgian Congo was granted independent (and was later renamed Zaire), Lumumba was the new nation's first prime minister. However, Lumumba's dream of freedom and dignity for the people of the Congo made him a controversial and dangerous figure, and this biographical drama explores his short, tumultuous life. We first encounter Lumumba (Eriq Ebouaney) in the late 1950's, when his National Congo Movement is gaining widespread ...
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Overview

Patrice Lumumba was a passionate advocate for freedom in colonial Africa, and when the Belgian Congo was granted independent (and was later renamed Zaire), Lumumba was the new nation's first prime minister. However, Lumumba's dream of freedom and dignity for the people of the Congo made him a controversial and dangerous figure, and this biographical drama explores his short, tumultuous life. We first encounter Lumumba (Eriq Ebouaney) in the late 1950's, when his National Congo Movement is gaining widespread public support, despite opposition from the nation's political leaders. Hoping to avoid a violent overthrow, the Belgian government begins negotiations with the NCM to turn rule of the Congo over to the citizens, and Lumumba and his political party are swept into power during the nation's first independent election. However, Lumumba's desire to bring a peaceful and orderly transfer of power soon earns him enemies of all political stripes. Militant advocates for freedom demand that white Belgian officers of the nation's military be replaced with African soldiers at once, while Belgian colonists are met with violence, sparking a revolt by the white settlers that leads to a bloody civil war. Lumumba was directed and co-written by Raoul Peck, who previously directed the acclaimed documentary Lumumba: Death of a Prophet.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Lumumba could be called manipulative and biased, but it also tells its story with a riveting immediacy that makes it a superior screen biography. This is not a staid historical drama, it is an electric portrait of a charismatic personality who burned brightly for a brief moment in history. Throughout, Lumumba must balance three purposes: providing the basic facts of its subject's life, exploring Patrice Lumumba as both a man and historical figure, and giving a lesson in Congolese history so that an unfamiliar audience can follow the story. Despite the complex history, the film is remarkably easy to follow, and director Raoul Peck focuses on Lumumba's adult years in order to cover the major events. As for developing an understanding for Lumumba as a person, Peck is largely successful. The film conveys why Lumumba fought so passionately for his country and how he was defeated by having to fight political enemies on so many fronts, but so much time is spent on essential plot that some of the human element is lost. For instance, one moment we see Lumumba as a young traveling beer salesman involved in informal political debates, then the film jumps ahead about five years and he is suddenly a jailed dissident-turned-prime minister, but how he developed into such a powerful and popular national figure is left unexplored. Still, Lumumba creates a far more complete portrait of its subject than the average Hollywood biography. An important reason for the film's success is the rich performance of Eriq Ebouaney in the title role. There are moments in the film where, through Ebouaney, the viewer can see how Lumumba was able to capture the hopes of Africa. Lumumba provides a valuable reminder that biographical filmmaking does not have to be wallowed in sentiment or weighed down by its historic pretenses.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/5/2002
  • UPC: 795975202732
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Zeitgeist Films
  • Presentation: Dubbed / Special Edition
  • Time: 1:55:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 30,090

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eriq Ebouaney Patrice Lumumba
Alex Descas Joseph Mobutu
Moussa Théophile Sowie Marice Mpolo
Maka Kotto Joseph Kasa Vubu
Technical Credits
Raoul Peck Director, Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Jacques Bidou Producer
Philippe Bober Associate Producer
Richard Boidin Associate Producer
Dirk Bombey Sound/Sound Designer
Pascal Bonitzer Screenwriter
Jacques Comets Editor
Charlotte David Costumes/Costume Designer
Diana Elbaum Associate Producer
Bernard Lutic Cinematographer
Jean-Claude Petit Score Composer
Denis Renault Production Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Must See for Pan-Africanists!

    If you don't know Patrice Lumumba's story, this film will be a great introduction. I've spent a good portion of the last year researching Lumumba...his life and untimely death. You might be inspired to do the same.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews