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Lumumba (2001)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 46
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: Ebouaney's fiery performance makes Lumumba compelling.

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Ebouaney's fiery performance makes Lumumba compelling.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,112



Movie Info

The story of political leader Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first prime minister who helped lead his country to independence from Belgium in the late 1950s. Lumumba's vision of a united Africa gained him powerful enemies: the Belgian authorities, who wanted a much more paternal role in their former colony's affairs, and the CIA, who supported Lumumba's former friend Joseph Mobutu. This was in order to protect U.S. business interests in Congo's vast resources and their upper hand in the Cold War power … More

Drama , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Raoul Peck , Pascal Bonitzer
In Theaters:
Oct 22, 2002
Zeitgeist - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Lumumba

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (11) | DVD (2)

Peck, who assayed Lumumba's life in a 1991 documentary, now paces the doomed man's story like the genuine thriller it is.

Full Review… | October 21, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

At the heart of the movie is Ebouaney's performance as Lumumba, every bit as intense as Denzel Washington's as Malcolm X.

November 16, 2001
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Ebouaney is easily the best thing about this import.

Full Review… | November 9, 2001
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

An engrossing film that attempts to unearth a dark period of African history and the short-lived tenure of Lumumba's power.

Full Review… | November 1, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

The vividness of the figures and situations whets the appetite.

Full Review… | October 19, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Ebouaney is given the daunting task of carrying a heavy film, and rises to the challenge with Denzel Washington-esque conviction.

Full Review… | October 4, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

It's a prime example of how a historical drama can be politically correct but thoroughly embalmed. The memory of Patrice Lumumba deserves better.

Full Review… | August 11, 2011
East Bay Express

Drawn from life or not, film people need some flaw, some depth, a facial betrayal of emotional struggle. If not, they are the stuff of action adventure, rooted for but at once forgotten.

Full Review… | January 23, 2011
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

One day, when Ebouaney is a huge star, people will look back at this film and say 'That's what did it.'

May 7, 2003
New Times

The story of the Congo and its struggle for independence from Belgium is a bloody and torrid one, but Lumumba doesn't really imbue the tale with much spirit.

Full Review… | February 20, 2002


Full Review… | February 8, 2002
Charlotte Observer

Lumumba overcomes some minor shortcomings and becomes an important and gripping feature.

Full Review… | December 21, 2001

Bites off way more than it can chew, it is often artlessly made, and it assumes that we know more than most of us do about the Congolese Nationalist Movement.

Full Review… | November 29, 2001
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Earnestly but amateurishly acted, the movie feels more like a play with the actors exaggerating their gestures so that even those in the cheap seats won't miss anything.

Full Review… | November 13, 2001
Internet Reviews

A tense drama told with style and ambition -- and with a remarkably steely, energized performance at its core.

Full Review… | November 2, 2001

Seeing it shouldn't be taken as some sort of educational chore. Though informative, it also happens to be smashing good drama.

Full Review… | October 8, 2001
One Guy's Opinion

As fluid and intellectually stimulating as the man himself.

Full Review… | September 24, 2001
Austin Chronicle

Moving, poignant, and quietly angry.

Full Review… | September 14, 2001
Philadelphia City Paper

a solid, interesting, educational and honest docudrama

Full Review… | September 10, 2001
Reeling Reviews

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