Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  51 minutes
Date:  2000
Genre:  Expository
Language:  French; English / English subtitles
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
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Mobutu, King of Zaire - Part 1

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Part one of the definitive history and visual record of the rise and fall of Joseph Désiré Mobutu, ruler of Zaire (the Congo) for over 30 years.

Mobutu, King of Zaire - Part 1

This is the definitive visual record of the rise and fall of Joseph Désiré Mobutu, ruler of Zaire (the Congo) for over 30 years. Drawing upon 140 hours of rare archival material found in Kinshasa, and 50 hours of interviews with those once close to him, MOBUTU, KING OF ZAIRE tells the story of the man at the heart of Central Africa's post-colonial history.

This is part one of three parts:

Part One - QUEST FOR POWER
Covering the years from Mobutu's birth until 1969, Part One documents his journey from cook's son, to military journalist, to Secretary of State, and then President. The film shows Mobutu as a young journalist at the World's Fair in Brussels in 1958, and meeting Patrice Lumumba during negotiations for the Congo's independence in 1960.

In an interview, Larry Devlin, the CIA Station Chief at the time, tells how even in the early stages of independence, Mobutu was seen as a possible replacement for his sponsor Patrice Lumumba. Devlin describes receiving the order to eliminate Lumumba, and the film includes footage of Mobutu's coup in 1965, of Lumumba in captivity with Mobutu looking on, and of the ensuing four-year civil war.

Thierry Michel, whose two previous films on the Congo, THE LAST COLONIALS and ZAIRE, CYCLE OF THE SERPENT, are also distributed by Icarus Films, has crafted an essential history and documentary resource

'A stunning documentary of the life of Mobuto... one of Africa's most notorious postcolonial despots.'-American Historical Review

'Rejects shrill indictment in favor of the cumulative revelation of its subject through film and the testimony of knowledgeable Mobutu aides and other qualified individuals. [This film] is the devastating witness that lays bare the homicidal, corrupt, vainglorious tyranny of Mobutu Sese Seko.'-The New York Times

'Remarkable! A film of almost literally fantastic footage and revealing interviews. Students should see it... Excellent!'-David Moore, University of Natal, Durban, for H-SAfrica

'Previously unseen archive footage interspersed with interviews with survivors of Mobutu's inner circle makes for great cinematic drama. A rarity.'-Mail and Guardian

'A tremendous documentary on the folly of power.'-Le Monde


Awards

** 2001 African Literature Association Film Festival
** 2000 African Studies Association Film Festival
** 1999 Best Documentary Nominee, International Documentary Association
** Special Mention, 1999 European Film Awards
** 1999 Prix Arte, European Film Academy
** 1999 New York Film Festival
** 1999 Margaret Mead Film Festival

Citation

Main credits

Michel, Thierry (creator)
Michel, Thierry (film director)
Michel, Thierry (screenwriter)
Michel, Thierry (narrator)
Pireaux, Christine (film producer)
Barbé, Martine (film producer)
Lalou, Serge (film producer)
Yoka Lye Mudaba (narrator)

Other credits

Music, Marc Herouet.


Distributor credits

A Film by Thierry Michel

Docuseek2 subjects

Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)
African History
Comparative Government
International Relations and Geopolitics
Biography
U.S. Foreign Policy
20th Century

Distributor subjects

Africa
African Studies
Biographies
Comparative Government
Congo
History (World)
Politics

Keywords

Michel; Thierry; Congo; Zaire; film; video; archival; archives; Joseph; Desire; Mobutu; Mobutu; Sese; Seko; Laurent; Desire; Kabila; Etienne Tshisekedi; Patrice Lumumba; documentary; film; video; DVD; congolese; "Mobutu; King of Zaire - Part 1"; Icarus Films;

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