Lumumba: La Mort du Prophète / Lumumba: Death of a Prophet

 

Director: Raoul Peck
Country: France, Germany, and Switzerland
Year: 1990
Running Time: 69 min.
Language: French

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Lumumba: La Mort du Prophète offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the life and legacy of one of the legendary figures of modern African history. Like Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba is remembered less for his lasting achievements than as an enduring symbol of the struggle for self-determination. This deeply personal reflection by acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck on the events of Lumumba’s brief twelve month rise and fall is a moving memorial to a man described as a giant, a prophet, a devil, “a mystic of freedom,” and “the Elvis Presley of African politics.”

A film essay in the tradition of Night and Fog or The Sorrow and the Pity, Lumumba: La Mort du Prophète explores how any image inevitably represses the multiple stories surrounding it, how the past as preserved by the media is always in a sense the hostage of history’s winners. Therefore present-day Europe figures as prominently in Lumumba as the Congo in 1960, because Europe was the unseen hand behind the camera and the events leading to Lumumba’s assassination. Peck presents an unfamiliar Europe seen through the eyes of a visitor from the Third World – cold, affluent, a guilty present trying to forget its past. Yet, as this film testifies, Lumumba’s prophecy will not be silenced until Africa achieves its second independence where the promises of the first can be fulfilled. [Source]