What sometimes amazes me about movies, is that they at times tell us true life stories, that you have never heard about before. Little bits of forgotten history that mark very important events, but somehow never made the news. This could happen for very different reasons, for instance the event occurred in a place that was not deemed important to the rest of the world. Or, it was covered up by government sources for political reasons. It is sad that things such as the latter happen, but occasionally the record is set straight through the power of a movie. Especially if that movie is executed in the right way. The Siege of Jadotville is such a movie, and it tells the tale of a part of history that I myself have never heard of before.
It is the early 1960s when Irish commander Pat Quinlan is sent to the Kongo by order of the United Nations. At the time a conflict was going on in the country that endangered both American and Russian mining interests. Unfortunately the U.N was definitely not welcome there, and when a tragic incident cost the lives of innocent civilians, an attack is ordered on the Irish troops. The attack is carried out by French and Belgian mercenaries, in support of the illegitimate prime minister Moise Tshombe. Commander Quinlan soon finds himself under siege by overwhelming odds, and he has to hold out with a bunch of completely untrained soldiers. However, the mercenaries will soon find out what the expression “we will not go down without a fight” truly means…..
This Netflix original movie, is a very solid warmovie with some very decent performances. Quinlan is played by up and coming star Jamie Dornan (who most people will know from the British tv series The Fall). He delivers a cool and outstanding role as the desperate commander who has to face down an enormous army. The cinematography for this movie is outstanding, and the siege really feels like a siege. I don’t really know what the budget for this movie was, but it looks almost like a Hollywood blockbuster. The most amazing thing about this movie is the end. It will leave you speechless as to how all of this was not widely known to the general public. This movie does a great job at setting the record straight, and is a tribute to the men who played such an important part in it, all those years ago. No matter how many times mankind says: “This can and must never be allowed to happen again”, history unfortunately tells us differently. That is a sad, but honest truth. If you like warmovies, this is definitely one you want to check out.
I give the Siege of Jadotville a 9 out of 10 score.