In this award-winning historical drama, we take a look at a figure who played a vital role in the independence of the Belgian Congo, renamed to Zaire. The crucial action takes place in 1960, when a former postal clerk and beer salesman, who happened to be leader of the Congelese National Movement, is plucked from jail and transposed to leader of the newly-independent country. However, the old colonial powers, and the Americans, are not happy with his benevolent, nationalistic agenda, and decide to replace him -- violently.

115 minutes.
No persons under 13 (Violence) .
The only way to keep a good man down is to kill him...
The only way to keep a good man down is to kill him...


Eriq Ebouaney, Alex Descas, Théophile Sowié, Maka Kotto, Dieudonné Kabongo, Pascal N'Zonzi, André Debaar
Raoul Peck
ScreenplayPascal Bonitzer, Raoul Peck
MusicJean-Claude Petit
CinematographyBernard Lutic
Sound formatsDolby SR
Made in2000
Produced byEntre chien et loup, Essential Filmproduktion GmbH, JBA Productions, Radio Télévision Belge Francofone, Velvet S.A., arte France Cinéma

Official Site


Scale (Max)20

What the Critics say

The Moviesite
Ian Douglas
Cape Argus
Janet Smith
The Cape Times
Wilhelm Snyman
The Star
Janet Smith
Die Burger
Gabriël Botma
Sunday Times
Barry Ronge
Barrie Hough
SAfm Screen & Co
Alan Swerdlow
eye Weekly
Jason Anderson
Box Office
Jordan Reed

What the People say

132 Netizens

Average .. 70%


Visitor Ratings

Scale (Max)20
Andreas Lupp (20) 14

Average .. 70%


Visitor Comments

Ian Douglas: Not exactly a pleasant movie, given the level of brutality and duplicity on display, but a must-see for anyone interested in African politics. It clearly shows how Mobuto came to power, and what sort of man he was, and the price his victims had to pay on his road to total power. Lumumba himself comes across as well-intentioned but ultimately unable to deal with the foreign powers and their dirty game plan. More's the pity. The country is still in a mess 40 years later.

Andreas Lupp (20): I went to see an African movie to broaden my viewing horizon, I am going to see it again because it is a very good film. The essence of the land and the cities is well protrayed by the poetic use of the camera. Peck does not over use the soundtrack. Although the weakest point is the historically academic i.e. slow screenplay, the anger and frustration of Peck does shine through in the end and gives this film a purpose. Peck is a director who is out to make a point and that is what I find gives the movie, despite the very average script, its power. It is much a much more powerful film than its more illustrious counterpart ''Ali'' and probably far more accurate!

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