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General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait

Director:  Barbet Schroeder
Year Released:  1974
Rating:  3.5

Unique portrait of the Ugandan dictator by director Schroeder - with legendary cinematographer Néstor Almendros - that takes a look at his oppressive regime (he was responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of his own people), his highly idiosyncratic ideas of the world (Israel is a major target, though Amin admits they had been 'very nice' to him in the past) and a glimpse at his unique personality (he's a joker and buffoon for the camera, but a psychotic executioner in private). Schroeder is certainly no Larry King or Barbara Walters, and asks the General some challenging questions, which he answers as candidly as possible, claiming that he is respected 'by all' because he tells the 'truth.' Amin likes to gab, and his constant yammering (in semi-broken English) grows tiresome, but the chance to see his cabinet meetings, him in a swimming contest (and cheating to win), conducting exercises with his beloved soldiers (and paratroopers) and playing with his (many) children is precious in its own right: how many of history's tyrants would allow this kind of exposure?

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