I have just received two copies of the Last King of Scotland from Los Angeles as I have promoted the film here on this very weblog. I have done so as I really liked the film itself - in particular for having been shot in Uganda, for the use of the African light, the blurred colors and the sound track. However, it is obvious that making a film about a real and a very controversial person based on a 'fictional story' can cause confusion and interesting statements. Whenever the film is brought on, the Ugandans will say something like;
- 'Artistically this is not a very good movie'. That other one (The Rise and Fall of Amin - watch the trailer here.) is so much more better and realistic... (The film where Amin keeps the heads of his enemies in his fridge).
- 'Amin wasn't at all like that' - often followed by; 'he was much worse/better/different'.
- That one (the actor) who plays Amin, he doesn't talk like Amin at all...! I feel slightly stupid when I hear myself claim that I think Forest Whitaker does an amazing impersonalisation of an African president. Because who am I to know when a lot of Ugandans did meet the man face to face - and they all have each their impresion.
- 'Why can this film not be copied? Oh, it is right-protected !!' ( A dissappointed Indian shopkeeper investigation the DVD while also formatting an external harddisc for me in his shop in Kampala).
What is really interesting is that sometimes I can't help note a tone of admiration for the man, in spite of the hell he created for some. He actually did meet a lot of his people face to face, not many African presidents does that today (well, some of these people didn't survive the meeting). He changed the British names of i.e. the Lake Albert to Lake Mobutu/Lake Amin (half half Congo/Uganda). Anyway, now a 'rights-protected' DVD is donated to Arua Resource Centre, Idi Amin's hometown. And I keep the other one.