Date: Friday, August 8 8:30 p.m.
Location: Ottawa, Sparks Street Mall between Metcalfe and O'Connor
Organizer: Colours of Africa film festival
LUMUMBA is the story of the political leader Patrice Lumumba, who helped lead his country to independence from Belgium in the late 1950s, and who at age 36, became Congo's first Prime Minister This film captures that turning point in history, where everything was still possible for Africa. An intelligent, capable, and caring man who loved his country, Lumumba was among such great leaders as Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Sekou Touré of Guinée, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Among many stirring highlights in the movie, is Lumumba's speech at the declaration of independence. The speech addressed Belgium's past crimes and one could feel Lumumba’s fate being sealed even at that triumphant moment.
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 faced betrayal from Kasavubu whom he had appointed President of Congo, Joseph Mobutu whom he had appointed as head of the army, and Moïse Tshombe, who manoeuvred for the secession of Katanga. In January 1961 with several conspiracies occurring at once, Lumumba met a brutal death--a mere six months after becoming the country's first Prime Minister.