Lumumba (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Lumumba (2001)



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

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 balance. During the tenuous first six months of Congo's independence when civil war threatened to erupt, Lumumba tried to quell hostilities but was eventually betrayed by Mobutu whom he had appointed as head of the army. In 1961 with several conspiracies occurring at once, Lumumba met a brutal death--a mere nine months after becoming the country's first Prime Minister.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Raoul Peck, Pascal Bonitzer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 22, 2002
Zeitgeist - Official Site


Eriq Ebouaney
as Patrice Lumumba
Alex Descas
as Joseph Mobutu
Theophile Sowie
as Maurice Mpolo
Maka Kotto
as Joseph Kasa Vubu
Dieudonné Kabongo
as Godefroid Munungo
Pascal N'Zonzi
as Moise Tshombe
Andre Debaar
as Walter J. Ganshof Va...
Cheik Doukoure
as Joseph Okito
Oumar Diop Makena
as Thomas Kanza
Mariam Kaba
as Pauline Lumumba
Rudi Delhem
as General Emile Jansse...
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News & Interviews for Lumumba

Critic Reviews for Lumumba

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (27)

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

Audience Reviews for Lumumba


This historical drama is about the national hero of Democratic Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba. The drama hows everything mainly from Lumumba's life (instead of the atrocities committed during the following chaotic civil war). Nonetheless, it uncovers what history has taken so long to achieve: that there were outside parties involved in the killing of Lumumba. For colonial history enthusiasts, "Lumumba" is a must-watch.

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