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The Last King of Scotland [Oct. 17th, 2006|07:19 am]
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

The Monday night movie this week was The Last King of Scotland, starring Forest Wittaker as Idi Amin in a story based on true events and real people. It is the role for which he will receive an Oscar nod, though perhaps not Oscar himself.

But "based on true events and real people" in this case meant:

1. Idi Amin was a real person
2. Bad things happened in Uganda while he was president.

It appears that Amin never employed a Scottish doctor as his personal physician, and that the intimate view we get of an ambitious, paranoid man becoming a cruel and heartless dictator. Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is our cipher, our view onto that world. Like Ayla in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear, etc.), Nicholas is our Everyman, tangled in the center of Amin's worldview.

And the best part is, he's a flawed cipher. Nicholas is a self-centered, egotistical man who wants to believe he has a moral and noble heart. He parallels Amin in this, and that parallel is fascinating to watch.

I did not learn that Nicholas was essentially fiction until after seeing the movie, and at first I was disappointed by the revelation, but it really does not impact the effect of the movie. Go and see. It's fascinating.

[User Picture]From: lurkerwithout
2006-10-17 12:28 pm (UTC)
Theres an actual documentary on Amin out on dvd. Idi Amin Dada. The filmmakers apparantly had some pretty open acess to Amin...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-17 12:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I could handle it....
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[User Picture]From: roninspoon
2006-10-17 02:57 pm (UTC)
When I found out about the fictionalized character I was all set to start pointing my finger and ranting about Hollywood and their penchant for trivializing history by making changes to it for the sake of drama. Then I found out that the film is relatively closed based upon the novel of the same name and that the character of Nicholas Garrigan was a creation of the author, Giles Foden. According to Foden, Garrigan was bsed rather loosely on a British Soldier named Bob Astles who managed to gain the favor of Amin and eventually became a somewhat important member of his inner circle.

None of this explain the real reason why Idi Amin granted himself the totle of King of Scotland, although many historians believed he suffered from neurosyphillis.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-17 03:00 pm (UTC)
Syphillis would explain a lot, actually.
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[User Picture]From: roninspoon
2006-10-17 03:03 pm (UTC)
It always does.
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[User Picture]From: cynic51
2006-10-19 02:31 am (UTC)

on an unrelated note

The next time we both manage to sign on for a Monday Movie on the same day we might consider car pooling, given that your house is between my office and the Cedar Lee, and my apartment is between your house and the Cedar Lee. So something might possibly be worked out.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-19 10:30 am (UTC)

Re: on an unrelated note

Ferrett picked me up from work downtown, which actually worked out very well for me, but we should definitely make at least a stab at coordinating a carpool.
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