The Last King of Scotland
Idi Amin became president of Uganda following a coup in 1971. Amin remained the country’s dictator for the rest of the decade. Under his regime, it is estimated that up to half a million people in Uganda were brutally murdered. The movie depicts Idi Amin’s deranged reign of terror in Uganda, as experienced by through a young doctor appointed to be his personal physician.
Length: 123 mins
Described by a BBC review as “A successful intertwining of fact and fiction” the movie, The Last King Of Scotland documents the life of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, played by Forest Whitaker (formerly peace loving Bubba in the movie Forest Gump).
The movie is centered around young medic, Garrigan (a made-up character from Giles Foden’s novel, McAvoy’s Nicholas), who graduates from med school in Scotland and seeks adventure at a Christian missionary clinic in Uganda. Through Garrigan, we experience Uganda during the 1970s under the dictatorship of Amin and discover the ruthlessness and violence of his leadership.
Through his fondness for Scotland and inspired by Garrigan’s reaction to a mortally injured cow, Amin inivites the medic to become his personal physician and to take charge of modernising the country’s health care system.
A trusted friendship ensues, despite Garrigan’s awareness of the issues in the country, opting to believe Amin’s explanations. It is not until Garrigan forms a relationship with Amin’s youngest wife that the ‘friendship’ is tested and Garrigan realizes that all is not as he sees. When Garrigan comes into contact with his lover’s mutilated body he realizes the full extent of Amins violence and inhumanity.
Arrested and tortured under Amin’s orders, Garrigan is rescued by a fellow medic, requesting that he tell the world about the truth about Amin – “They will believe you. You are a white man.”
The movie is gripping, and oftentimes violent, reflecting the reality of a cruel and callous individual that took the lives of some 300,000 of his fellow Ugandan’s.
The Last King of Scotland is widely available on DVD:
- Cost €4.99 | online store Xtravision Ireland
- For rent from Irish Times DVD Club
- Check your locally library’s DVD collection
The Last King of Scotland was adapted from a book written by Giles Foden (for more info see Easons book description)