Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Eriq Ebouaney, Alex Descas, Théophile Sowié, Maka Kotto, Dieudonné Kabongo
Director: Raoul Peck
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Made in the tradition of such true-life political thrillers as MALCOLM X and JFK, Raoul Peck's award-winning LUMUMBA is a gripping epic that dramatizes for the first time the rise and fall of legendary African leader Patri... more »
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Get the subtitled Special Edition version
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, Lumumba is an exciting, dramatic film that I recommend very highly.
However, this version of the DVD in addition to being dubbed into English, is censored in at least one place. Toward the end, at a moment crucial to a historical understanding of the role of other countries (including the U.S.) in sealing Lumumba's fate, the name of the United States official is actually beeped out on the soundtrack. Why? Did it have something to do with this being the version aired on HBO?
Of course, it's possible that there are other instances of censorship on this DVD that I'm unaware of.
I'd recommend getting the subtitled Special Edition. The price isn't THAT much more and it has some good special features that make the higher price worth it."
Charismatic leader self-sacrificed to an impossible mission
Philippe Ranger | Montreal, Can. | 10/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very well-made historical film with superb casting and acting. Leaves you with a bad feeling at the bottom of your stomach.[See Soren Dayton's comments.] The film covers the last 8 months of Lumumba's life, in 1960, beginning in prison, continuing with four months' freedom and ending in four month's internment, flight, torture and execution. It centers on the emotional aspects of life at the center of the storm. It shows but does not analyze.The Belgian Congo was constituted 80 years before through the most extensive use of barbarism then known in the European conquest of Africa. 80 years down the road, Congo's function as a state was primarily the extraction and shipping of mineral wealth and agricultural produce from Africa's richest region (the region drained by the Congo river), with the necessary modicum of services to the people doing the extraction and crop-raising, the blacks. Lumumba accepted the existence of the Congo state, and postulated a Congolese nation. The state only existed as a machine for exploiting the underground riches and the labor of the "nation", and the nation existed only as defined within that state. It had no common culture, no common language, no common tradition (except Bantu tradition generally) and especially no common structure save that defined by the Belgian-run state. The task Lumumba defined for himself was squaring the circle. The only way the Congo could be maintained as a state was as it had always existed, through massive violence and systematic inequality, and for the profit of the same class of profiteers as before. The Congo never had any other purpose. Lumumba believed in his impossible task in part because he felt responsible for, and in a sense shared, the enthusiasm his Licoln-like honesty and courage generated everywhere (in Europe as well as the Congo).In hindsight what followed, or some variant of it, was totally foreseeable, written in the structure of the state. It is interesting to see how Lumumba's honest friend, Mobutu, comes, one step at a time, to recognize this and to make his peace with it. The last scene, on the June-61 first anniversary of the country, focusses on Mobutu, who is physically the Mobutu we saw take these steps one at a time, but spiritually already the slave of the powers he made his pact with, and for which he will later take the other steps that made him in his time one of Africa's most nauseating dictators.If the machine left in place by the Belgians and the Western mining industry had not produced Mobutu, it would have produced a clone of him. Lumumba was a human sacrifice to African hopes the machine had no truck with. These hopes were worse than self-defeating the moment "the Congolese state and nation" was accepted as a fact."
Born fifty years too early - the life of Patrice Lumumba
Donna M. Scimeca | Monroe Twp., NJ United States | 07/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Lumumba" is a masterful depiction of the politically rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba. The film is gripping in its portrayal of those in the political forefront of the newly independent nation of Congo, most notably Lumumba himself. The film's strength is its use of historically accurate factual analysis, which, incidentally, does not always glorify Lumumba. The viewer comes away from this film shaken to the core by the utter sense of humanity that the brilliance of Raoul Peck achieves in this vivid portrait of the fallen leader. This film is a "must see" for history buffs as well as for those who continue to seek examples of what moral leadership really looks like."
A moment to pause
All Things Good | 10/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I highly recommend seeing this movie. I read the NY Review of Books' article on Lumumba first, which gives a good sense of the historical forces. The former UN Undersecretary however is unrelenting as far as Lumumba is concerned, painting Lumumba almost as a psychotic unrelenting fanatic. It appears the Undersecretary's bias stems from his frustration felt by many UN leaders at the time in dealing with a distrusting world leader (ie., Lumumba) wanting to play on his own terms. Peck on the other hand shows Lumumba's idealism, integrity, fears, and demand for equal recognition clashing with the designs of the West and the riotous factions within his own country. The movie is much more sympathetic and realistic in portraying what Lumumba was up against. The audience really feels and relates to Lumumba in a way that is not at all schmaltzy. I highly recommend this film."