Seated At His Right

Though marketed as a blaxploitation picture, this moody tale was inspired by the life and death of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo. The charismatic revolutionary, whose rise and fall is also charted in Raul Peck's 2000 film LUMUMBA, took office in 1960 and was assassinated less than a year later. Though the film...read more

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Though marketed as a blaxploitation picture, this moody tale was inspired by the life and death of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo. The charismatic revolutionary, whose rise and fall is also charted in Raul Peck's 2000 film LUMUMBA, took office in 1960 and was assassinated less than a year later. Though the film gets bogged down in religious symbolism, it's a serious and distubing work by Italian director Valerio Zurlini, whose films are as steeped in leftist politics as those of better known filmmakers like Gillo Pontecorvo. Strode plays a Christ-like rebel leader named Lalubi. He and his numerous armed followers are taken prisoner by mercenaries and brutally beaten; still, he finds people sympathetic to his beliefs. Eventually the government, upset with his rebellious nature, orders his execution and that of his followers. Strode turns in a fine performance in one of his few starring roles.

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