"Lumumba" is also the title of a excellent film about his life, starring Eriq Ebouaney, and directed by Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck. The film shows details of Lumumba's life, starting with his arrival in Kinshasha as a 3rd Class Postal Clerk, continuing through the independence movement, his two months in office as Prime Minister, and his eventual execution by members of Mobutu's army.

The film pulls no punches, and its utterly gut-wrenching, Orwellian conclusion ( Mobutu asking for a minute of silence in memory of "National Hero, Patrice Lumumba") is depressing beyond words. The film does an excellent job of showing the charisma and strength of character which made Lumumba such a threat to Western interests, and which earned him many enemies within the Congo.

The one thing that might improve the film, actually, is a longer running time. Just shorter than 2 hours, there is not enough time to show any of Lumumba's earlier years, the experiences which pushed him toward seeking independence, or much in the way of the social and political milieu which might help us to understand the difficulty of Lumumba's position in office. The camera stays on him almost continuously, thus giving an excellent impression of the bewildering pace of events surrounding the first months of independence, but not quite helping with providing extra background.

Well worth seeing, particularly if you are already familiar with the history of the region. A site which is very helpful in acquiring some of this background is that of the the film's American distributor, Zeitgeist Films, at www.zeitgeistfilm.com