Général Idi Amin Dada

Général Idi Amin Dada

A Self Portrait

DVD - 2002
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In 1974 a film crew followed Idi Amin Dada, dictator of Uganda, interviewing him and filming him as he worked. Provides a candid portrait of a notorious figure.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, c2002
ISBN: 9780780025073
0780025075
Branch Call Number: DVD 967.61 A517
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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lukasevansherman
Dec 11, 2015

Made during Amin's nearly decade rule of Uganda, this documentary is a must for anyone who caught Forest Whitaker's award winning performance in "The Last King of Scotland." French director Barbet Schroeder (who later went on to direct features like "Reversal of Fortune" and "Barfly") stays out of the way and lets Amin speak for himself, which he does frequently. So much so that the subtitle of the film is "a self portrait." Amin even contributed accordion music. Amin, with his easy manner, multiple wives, and chubby cheeks, seems like a pretty nice guy until you realize he was responsible for thousands and thousands of deaths. As presented here, he is not so much the banality of evil, but the monotony of evil. He clearly loves to talk and though he's not without charm, his monologues are usually tedious (like when he lectures a room full of doctors) and pedestrian. And you don't really get anybody else's perspective, which may have been a necessity of getting it released in 1974. An interesting time capsule of a country in the grip of a dangerous egomaniac and a good double feature with its fiction counterpart.

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