Patrice Lumumba, the hero of Congolese independence, was not yet 30 when the first tremors of botched decolonization thrust him to the forefront of the international political arena. After a period of a few years, Lumumba became the most reviled man of the intense cold war period. Becoming Prime Minister of one of the richest countries in Africa, Lumumba’s destiny as tragic hero was charted, his assassination already programmed. He would remain in power only three months. All that remained for his assassins to do was dispose of his body. By acclaimed Haitian director Raoul Peck (Sometimes in April, The Man by the Shore). –uniFrance
Born in Haiti, raised in Zaire (Congo) and France, he additionally is well-suited for the international following he has earned. He remains one of few filmmakers that successfully produce documentaries and feature films. No doubt his early travels throughout the world have informed his particular aesthetic as a filmmaker. Educated in Haiti, Zaire (Congo), France, and Germany, Peck initially studied engineering and economics at Berlin University. He worked as a journalist and photographer from 1980 to 1985. In 1988 he received his film degree from the Berlin Academy of Film and Television. Since graduation, Peck has developed short experimental works, socio-political documentaries, and features based on fact as well as fiction. His feature L’Homme sur les quais (1993) (The Man by the Shore) was the first Haitian film to be released in theatres in the United States; this feature was also selected for competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. A true internationalist, Peck divides his… read more
a straight biopic minus the generic plot points. lumumba faces no freudian conflicts with his parents or whatever, and his revolutionary idealism remains unpolluted to the bitter end. instead, expect the myriad complications surrounding colonial independence - regional conflicts, racial resentments, cold war opportunism. lumumba is asleep at his desk during the coup d'etat; you'll come to understand his exhaustion.
Dead, living, free, or in prison on the orders of the colonialists, it is not I who counts. It is the Congo, it is our people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage where we are regarded from the outside… History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets... a history of glory and dignity. ” — Patrice Lumumba, October 1960