Today in history… April 11, 1979, Idi Amin Dada, the military dictator and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, is deposed, as rebels in exile backed by Tanzanian forces, seize control of the country. Several hundred thousand people are believed to have been killed during his brutal 8-year regime.
Amin died August 16th, 2003, in Saudi Arabia, where he’d been living in exile since 1979.
As far as onscreen depictions of Amin, many of you are likely most familiar with Forest Whitaker’s interpretation of Amin in the 2006 film, The Last King of Scotland, for which he earned an Academy Award.
But if I may instead/also direct your attention to director Barbet Schroeder’s 1974 documentary on Amin, titled, General Idi Amin Dada, made while he was very much at the height of his power.
Schroeder was given unprecedented access to the dictator, who was influential in the making of the film, but it’s far from propaganda material.
It’s worth reading up on how the project came together. The Criterion Collection blog has an essay on the making of the film which you can read HERE, before or after you watch the full 90-minute documentary, which I embedded below (or just watch the film):