Martyrs such as Lumumba and political leader who can be crowned as legends are not always the best topics for films. Depicting drama against a political background is a daunting task that can only be attempted by a dogged agitprop artist, Hollywood hack or hagiographer. In addition to this crating a fill of a man like Lumumba Peck compounded the problem with having to present to the western audience a squalid and thuggish past the hate to be reminded of. Just like other African nationalist Lumumba worked hard to free his nation from the colonization be the European nations and Americans. However, he was murdered soon after securing independence for his country and being crowned the prime minister of Belgian Congo now Democratic Republic of Congo. While most significant details of his brutal murder remain hazy, most accounts of his death hold that he was a victim of the always industrious C.I.A in conjunction with local opponents who ware ready to rid him of the country for their own benefits under the convenient disguise of anticommunism. The director of the documentary has tackled Lumumba twice and managed to create fast paced and powerful posthumous homage to the martyred African statesman Patrice Lumumba.
Relevance of the film to reality
Indeed, the accounts following the death of Lumumba are fogy. It is actual difficult to pinpoint with absolute accurately to one account and state with absolute certainty to one of them as the accurate account. However Peck’s presentation takes into considers all the accounts concerning the brutal murder of the African statesman. However, there is little revolving around his death. Peck mostly focused on the life and the achievements than on the complex social, political and economical circumstances following his death (Waldron). I believe he tried to avoid that bit due to the controversy surrounding it. The two hour limit of running time for movies certainly influenced Peck edit the mover and stick the period when Lumumba started to actively champion for independence in various forums including the famous Brussels conference, the setting of the day of independence and his election as the countries prime minister and his assassination. Indeed the move can be termed as Lumumba personal story. The movie however presented clearly what the west thought about Lumumba. They had labeled him as a puppet to the Russians and a communist just to create an excuse that would facilitate his destruction (Waldron). It was apparent that Lumumba was the only person that would have held the country together and stopped foreign interests from taking place at Katanga and Kasai. Katanga and Kasai regions are rich in mineral resources and the Belgium Government with other foreign forces were tireless working even before the independence to create chaos that would ensure that they continue to reap them mineral resources thus their plan to eliminate Lumumba. Peck presents the true picture of Lumumba; he was not a communist and feared the Russians.
Challenging the orthodoxies learned to date
The presentation of this move unfortunately confirms some of the facts I had initially thought to be orthodox. Lumumba was certainly a great leader that Congo had at its time of independence. However, external forces from outside and from within worked tirelessly to ensure that his leadership fails at its initial stages (Morris). Lumumba was betrayed by the west especially America, the Russians and the local tribal leaders who were interested in having their tribal regions brake of from the main Zaire. The they successes in doing away with Lumumba, they plunged the country into chaos that have lasted for over five decades resulting in numerous conflicts and infighting among the citizens of the country. He death left a gap that was picked up be a father King figure Mobutu Seseseko
Emotions generated by the documentary
Peck account is very emotional stirring nationalistic feeling as they see Lumumba a beer salesman and mail Clark rises to a statesman and struggle to secure freedom for his nation. It also rises a feeling of dislike for the international community that is not interested in seeing Zaire size its freedom and facets of his government that are not interested in having him lead the nation (Morris). The story has a sand ending with an intriguing assassination of Lumumba that is certain to chill the viewers
The reporting of the incidents in the documentary is objective. Peck clearly presents the facts as they occurred; the life of Lumumba his struggles and aspirations and his brutal assassination. He wanted what the best for his country and tried to achieve it. He was however cut short by foreign nation and citizens that had their on vested interests. The Belgians were unwilling to leave the country due to its riches, the CIA, US government and the Russians were interested in the riches of the country. The American and Russians betrayed him by failing to grunt him military support when he requested for it (Peck).
Relevance to the African on the Diaspora
The African in the Diaspora should lean and appreciate the rich history of their nations. They should understand that just like their counter part who are in Africa they hold great influence to success of leadership back in their mother countries. They should always try to push the international community towards upholding the rule of law in Africa and ensure political stability. In dead, had the African affiliated to Lumumba been loyal to him and supported his government, foreign interests would have remained interests with no avenue of actualization.
Peck certainly captures the history of an African statesman in and interesting and intriguing manner. He presents the story using new fact concerning the rise and fall of Lumumba. The movie is emotional and presents all the facts according to various documented accounts on Lumumba. He clearly shows how foreign interests have negative impact on the unity of African sates and how it thrives on disunity in these states. Certain Pecks job is commendable.