The movie Lumumba is based on a true story that depicts the powerful story of the martyred African leader Patrice Lumumba who was once denigrated but then later redeemed. The movie tells his personal story as a human being rather than focusing on Congo’s complicated political and economic issues which caused civil destruction and Lumumba’s assassination.
Director Raoul Peck tells Lumumba’s story after discovering new historical evidence and portrays a moving and well written description of the man who transformed from a mail clerk and beer salesman to a leader who had unlimited belief in his home country. Due to restricted time constraints in the movie, the storyline is based in the months before and after Congo achieved independence from Belgium in 1960. This was also Lumumba’s final months as the first Prime Minister of Congo. During this period, Lumumba and the first president of the country, Joseph Kasa Vubu, work alongside together to avert Congo from yielding to chaos and secession. The film was shot in Zimbabwe and Mozambique due to political unrest in Congo.
The director used Lumumba’s story to represent tragedies occurring all around the world who are trying for a democratic government and to be independently economic. Raoul Peck carefully illustrates this scenario with well founded information as we watch Lumumba refuse to compromise with his ideals and the best interests of his country. Ultimately Joseph Mobutu became a puppet of foreign interests as he allowed Congo to be environmentally and economically desolated however Lumumba chose to die on his feet rather than live on his knees. Lumamba features music from the band slow horse.
This two hour film was released in 2000 and has been released in several film festivals and commercially released in North America and Europe.