Mobutu, Joseph Désiré: see Mobutu Sese Seko.
Mobutu, King of Zaire (orig. French title: Mobutu, roi du Zaïre) is a 1999 documentary film about Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, the former President of Zaire.


"Of all the human passions, the appetite for domination is the most inebriating" (St. Augustine)

The ultimate "African King, Joseph Désiré Mobutu was one of the most enduring and tenacious dictators to rise to power as a result of the Cold War and the decolonisation.

November 1965. With the help of the CIA, Mobutu launched a coup d'état and seized power in the former Belgian Congo. He renamed the country Zaïre and imposed on his people a peace based upon fear, violence and repression.

In less than 25 years, this young sergeant of the colonial army became one of the richest and most feared men in the world. He sided with the West and built a pyramid of autocratic, predatory power, underpinned by money. He handed out favours and disgrace, and wielded absolute rule over the ruins of a country ravaged by corruption,.

Mobutu, King of Zaïre is the story of one man's exceptional destiny, founded on ambition and grandeur, betrayal and cowardice, a character worthy of the great Shakespearean tragedies.

The film: Its History

This film is the result of more than two years of work tracking down archive material and witnesses close to Mobutu in Africa, Europe and the U.S. More than 950 hours of footagehabe been seen by the world. Among the 104 hours selected as the basis for this film, are 30 hours of archives recently discovered in Kinshasa and never before released. Completing these exceptional documents, are more than 50 hours of interviews with those close to the former president and the events surrounding his reign, conducted by the director in Kinshasa, Brussels, Paris and Washington.

Like a vast historical puzzle, this film pieces together the tragic history of a country, and its self-styled leader - the dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, "King of Zaïre.


  • Mention of honor in "Seen by Africa" on 1999 - Montreal - Canada
  • Nominee in Los Angeles by international Documentary Association (IDA) for the IDA Awards - United States
  • Special mention during the delivery of European Films Awards for Berlin - Germany


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