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The Siege of Jadotville (2016)

Irish Commandant Pat Quinlan leads a stand off with troops against French and Belgian Mercenaries in the Congo during the early 1960s.


Richie Smyth


Kevin Brodbin, Declan Power (based on the book by)
4,295 ( 61)
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Lukunku Richard Lukunku ... Patrice Lumumba
Danny Sapani ... Moise Tshombe
Andrew Stock Andrew Stock ... Man in a White Suit
Mark Strong ... Conor Cruise O'Brien
Jamie Dornan ... Patrick Quinlan
Fionn O'Shea ... William Reidy
Sam Keeley ... Bill (Sniper) Ready
Ronan Raftery ... John Gorman
Mike Noble Mike Noble ... Charles Cooley
Jason O'Mara ... Jack Prendergast
Fiona Glascott ... Carmel Quinlan
Melissa Haiden ... Beautiful Nurse
Jordan Mifsud ... John Donnelly
Conor Quinlan Conor Quinlan ... Patrick Joyce
Charlie Kelly ... Walter Hegarty


In 1961, the UN sends an Irish peacekeeper troop commanded by Commandant Pat Quinlan to Katanga, in Congo, to protect the inhabitants of the mining town of Jadotville in the beginning of a civil war. Meanwhile the UN advisor Dr. Conor Cruise O'Brien launches a military attack named Operation Morthor against the French and Belgian mercenaries. Soon there is a reprisal from the mercenaries and Quinlan and his men are left under siege by a huge number of Katangese and mercenary troops. Will the Irish soldiers resist the attack? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Ireland | South Africa


English | Irish | French

Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jadotville See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

Company Credits

Production Co:

Parallel Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color (ACES)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film's director, Richie Smyth, was adamant that the cast should all be given proper military training. The actors went through weeks of intense training at a boot camp in South Africa, undergoing the same kind of training that the original soldiers would have gone through. At one point, Smyth even put Jamie Dornan in charge of the other actors, so he could "create the dynamic" of leading men. See more »


When Commandant Quinlan is called in by the radio operator to talk with General McEntee about incoming potential reinforcements, he enters the room with a rifle over his left shoulder. This rifle is present during his entire conversation with the general, but disappears immediately after the conversation is over. See more »


[first lines]
Pat Quinlan: [narrating] I once heard a man say that, in Africa, the sun is like a furnace that either melts you or forges you.
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Written by Sam Cooke
Performed by Sam Cooke
Published by ABKCO Music, Inc. and RCA Records
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User Reviews

A worthy film anchored by Jamie Dornan's steadfast performance
10 October 2016 | by azanti0029See all my reviews

Anyone who was lucky enough to see the recent stage play 'A Season in the Congo' in London a couple of years will have a good idea of the backdrop of events here. In time this may too be a feature film. We can only hope.

For those who do not know the background to the setting of these events - Its 1961 in the African Congo and the country is still reeling from the murder of its democratically elected President Patrice Lumumba. Complicit in his death were both the United States and the United Nations to whom Lumumba had appealed to for help when there was rebellion in his army, both had refused, so he turned to the Soviet Union for assistance which brought down scorn from the west. By the time the UN got its act together the country was under the command of Moise Tshombe and Lumumba had been murdered. Belgian Mercenaries working with Condolease troops loyal to Mobutu wanted the UN out and into all this mess arrived a group of Irish Soldiers sent auspiciously under the the guise of a Peace Keeping Mission to a remote location, their actual objective, not immediately clear. The UN, keen to show Mobutu has it was pulling the strings from here on seized several Government controlled buildings in the capital, during which several civilians were killed at a radio station. The UN in turn covered up these events, all the while in a distant outpost the small group of Irish Soldiers face a siege from thousands of troops. Unable to be reinforced and low on ammo water, how long can they hold out?

Thus is setting for the Siege of Jadotville. The European involvement in the Congo is a shameful and embarrassing part of our history which has been all too glossed over and the events depicted here were indeed also covered up themselves. The more films about this subject the better as far as I am concerned. But this is a story about the men on the ground as well as the mess that put them there. Young flush faced lads who have never seen the face of battle before. Their commander, played by Jamie Dornan, knows their in trouble and is quick to improve the defences and the film takes on something of a 'Zulu' quality.

The Casting here has been key Mark Strong is the face of the complex double duelling politic and as always puts in a great performance in his role.

Guillaume Canet heads up the Belgian mercenaries with an appropriate broodiness but the younger cast here, many of them relative unknowns are great. I predict great things to come for several of the actors - including Sam Keeley, Conor MacNeil, Charlie Kelly, Fionn O'Shea and Ronan Raftery to name just a few while Danny Sapani makes for an imposing Tshombe. Characteriasion is a little thin of the ground for some of the characters who become identifiable by what they do (Sniper, Radio Operator) rather than what they say, so its a credit to the cast and director that many of the nameless men manage to make their mark in ones memory. As with most films of this type female roles are somewhat underwritten but such is the nature of the piece. There has been mentions of Jamie Dornan's accent, I personally couldn't find too great a fault in it, it was his acting that constantly drew me on screen. Someone who knows how to do a great deal, just with a look rather than with dialogue. He just gets better in everything I see him in.

This is an extremely well made and worthy film that sets right an injustice that history was told not to tell at the time. It makes one wonder how many more such stories are out there. I am sure hundreds, no thousands. Recommended.

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