Général Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait (A Self Portrait) (1975)



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Movie Info

Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada was but a distant irritation to everyone but his own countrymen and the British Empire until his perfidy became headline material in the early '70s. The first director to provide an in-depth study of this gregarious madman was director Barbet Schroeder, with his General Idi Amin Dada. In this documentary, Schroeder and his crew travel to Uganda to spend several days with the despot, one-on-one. The uncomfortable truths revealed in the film are all the most amazing when one realizes that Schroeder could not release his documentary without Amin's approval. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Général Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait (A Self Portrait)

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

Occasionally, and surprisingly, the man seems prepared to laugh at himself: one of the few unexpected features in an otherwise profoundly depressing and exploitative film.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The film is virtually a self-portrait -- both terrifying and sorrowful.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Idi Amin Dada is not a particularly good documentary, but it's often a fascinating one.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

An interesting but disappointingly facile look at a man who was both a symptom and the source of unspeakable genocide.

May 30, 2001 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

...a crucial examination of a tyrant...

Dec 29, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

It's an illuminating examination of the egotism behind evil. Given a blank canvas, Amin can only create a self-portrait that is of a brutal and ugly monster yearning to be loved, painted devilish red and dripping with the blood of the innocent.

Oct 30, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Général Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait (A Self Portrait)

[font=Century Gothic]"General Idi Amin Dada" is the 1974 documentary that Forest Whitaker watched in order to hone his performance for "The Last King of Scotland." It is ironic because the movie consists almost entirely of the dictator giving a performance in front of a courageous camera crew hoping to[/font] [font=Century Gothic]expose Amin for the monster he is.(The documentary was filmed when it was known about some of his crimes but the true depth of the horrors of Amin's reign would not be known for a few years yet.) What they do get on tape is him making antisemitic(as would Nixon at about the same time) and anti-Israel statements. A couple of years later this philosophy of hatred would be behind his reasoning for harboring a hijacked airliner which would be condemned internationally.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]In this documentary, there is a great deal of footage of General Amin reviewing his troops and very little of his ruling philosophy, if he ever had one. He claims to be a revolutationary but neither capitalist or communist. Revolutions always cause a huge amount of damage, so it is best to have a plan what the new society will look like when starting out. One cannot uproot a society haphazardly as Amin did when he evicted Uganda's Asian population overnight, destroying Uganda's economy in the bargain.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

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