General Idi Amin: Self Portrait (1974)

Idi Amin lo res

Most of us will remember the 2006 movie ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and its account of a fictional doctor who ended up being Idi Amin’s personal physician. U.S. star Forest Whitaker received plaudits worldwide for his portrayal of the gruesome Amin. What is clear, upon watching this film, is that the real Idi Amin was a thousand times more extreme than the movie gave us to believe. Back in the day, French film-maker Barbet Schroeder was offered 100% access to the dictator and Amin clearly saw himself as the film’s associate producer. Amin’s runaway vanity means that he relishes opening up on camera and through the prism of 40 years of hindsight we can recognise a complex man who is all at once, street performer, spin doctor, media-savvy celebrity and bloodthirsty maniac. We show this film as a vintage ‘classic’ since as well as being fascinating in its own right, it is a glorious 35mm colour trip back to an Africa of hope, optimism and the promise of better times. So buckle in folks, the ATFF time-machine is set for co-ordinates in Kampala, stardate: 1974.

Colour 35mm, 90 mins