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Idi Amin 'not a monster'
News24.com ^

Posted on 08/11/2005 1:41:07 PM PDT by Millee

Hollywood star Forest Whitaker who is playing Idi Amin in the screen version of the acclaimed novel The Last King of Scotland, says the late Ugandan dictator was no saint, but was not the monster that has been portrayed in the West.

In a weekend interview, Whitaker said his research for the role in the film had changed his perception of Amin, whose brutal rule over Uganda between 1971 and 1979 was punctuated by bizarre and often psychopathic behaviour, and the deaths of up to half a million people.

"I'm not trying to defend Amin, the Amin I found was not a good man, but not the monster as presented," he said during a break on the set as filming for the movie wrapped up at the airport town of Entebbe outside Kampala on Lake Victoria.

"When I first decided to act Amin, I had that perception of Amin as presented by the West," said the 44-year-old Whitaker, who has won praise for parts in Phone Booth, The Crying Game, Good Morning, Vietnam and Platoon.

A better understanding

"After I started (researching) his rule and his life, what was being portrayed in the West was not his real image," he said. "Now, I have come to appreciate and understand why he made certain decisions at certain times."

"He did things like other big men who did things that helped their countries," Whitaker said, noting in particular he appreciated Amin's virulent abhorrence of European colonialism in Africa.

Between 300 000 and 500 000 Ugandans were killed and the country's entire Asian population expelled during Amin's despotic rule, the height of which is covered by the Last King of Scotland.

The title of the novel refers to Amin's stated desire to take over from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as monarch to the Scots, and tells the story of Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan, who becomes Amin's physician.

Flattered at first by his command appointment, the physician is horrified to discover his unknowing complicity in the savage crimes of Amin, who in real life died in exile in Saudi Arabia in August 2003 of multiple organ failure.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: activistactors; cannibal; despot; dictator; ethniccleansing; forestwhitaker; idiamin; revisionisthistory; scotland; shutupandsing; thuglife; tyrants; uganda

1 posted on 08/11/2005 1:41:07 PM PDT by Millee
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To: Millee
Just Shut Up & Act!
2 posted on 08/11/2005 1:42:55 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Millee
Idi Amin 'not a monster'

Yeah, and Ted Kennedy is not a drunk!! (/sarcasm)

3 posted on 08/11/2005 1:44:02 PM PDT by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (People too weak to follow their own dreams, will always find a way to discourage yours.)
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To: Millee

He's just a misunderstood gourmet.


4 posted on 08/11/2005 1:45:24 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Now that taglines are cool, I refuse to have one.)
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To: Millee

Somebody needs to remind Forest Whitaker that, even in Hollywood, torturing, slaughtering, cooking and eating people is considered 'not a good thing'.


5 posted on 08/11/2005 1:45:50 PM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: Millee
Between 300 000 and 500 000 Ugandans were killed and the country's entire Asian population expelled during Amin's despotic rule, the height of which is covered by the Last King of Scotland.

So Forrest, what GOOD did Idi Amin do? Ok, he battle "colonialism", but what GOOD came out the tragedy that was worth a 1/2 million lives and the expulsion (ethnic cleansing) of the best and brightest? You ever see "Mississippi Masala"? G-d! Do these Hollywood people EVER THINK?!

6 posted on 08/11/2005 1:46:39 PM PDT by Clock King
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To: Millee

He might have been a mass murderer and he might have eaten his enemies, but he was misunderstood.


7 posted on 08/11/2005 1:48:38 PM PDT by mak5
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To: mak5

That's because he was a snappy dresser and had excellent table manners.

Ick!


8 posted on 08/11/2005 1:50:12 PM PDT by najida (I officially have a home-- ~~sigh~~ with ice cubes even.)
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To: Millee

300,00 to 500,000 killed during his rule? So hwat magic number do you have to hit before you are considered a monster?


9 posted on 08/11/2005 1:50:24 PM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: Millee
He is however, a manatee.
10 posted on 08/11/2005 1:51:16 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If you must obey your party, may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.)
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To: mak5
"He did things like other big men who did things that helped their countries,..."

Like Hitler, and Stalin.

I guess its ok then.

Sheesh!

11 posted on 08/11/2005 1:51:22 PM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: Millee

'Whatta maroon! Is he related to Harry Belafonte?


12 posted on 08/11/2005 1:54:15 PM PDT by johnny7 (Racially-profiling since 1963)
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To: Millee

Every actor will tell you its more fun to play the badguy than the hero. And remember, the villain doesn't think hes evil. He feels wronged--think Iago--so the actor has to see things from the villains side. Very few are like Richard the third who comes out and states--hey, i'm a villain . watch me do my thing"


13 posted on 08/11/2005 1:58:20 PM PDT by wildcatf4f3 (whats wrong with a draft?)
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To: Millee
I did not realize Mr. Whittaker is a certifiable moron.

Idi Amin did not just kill 300,000 of his small nation's population, he ATE lots of his victims.


14 posted on 08/11/2005 1:58:45 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember
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To: Millee
Here's an interesting photo history of Amins rise and fall. Apparently he used well dressed white men as servants.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/photo_gallery/3084491.stm
15 posted on 08/11/2005 1:59:34 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If you must obey your party, may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.)
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To: Millee

He's not a monster, he just ate like one.


16 posted on 08/11/2005 2:10:27 PM PDT by kenth
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To: cripplecreek
Apparently he used well dressed white men as servants.

Queer Eye for the Straight Cannibal!

17 posted on 08/11/2005 2:12:48 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Now that taglines are cool, I refuse to have one.)
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To: Millee

Yeah, I guess all those people died by accident.


18 posted on 08/11/2005 2:19:25 PM PDT by Killborn (Liberalism contribute to 80% of global problems. Stupidity contribute to 80% of global liberals.)
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To: Millee

Some school children made the mistake of making fun of one his kids. He had them all mowed down with machine guns. But he's not a monster.


19 posted on 08/11/2005 2:35:27 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rearview mirror.)
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To: Millee
"A camera is pointed at me, I have to think of something to say."

(something stupid falls out of his mouth)

"Doh!"

Actors rely on scripts to avoid having to think on their feet. I wonder what Whittaker thinks of all of the Iraqis killed by Saddam...

20 posted on 08/11/2005 2:43:14 PM PDT by Alien Gunfighter (Socialist liberals never imagine themselves as peasants under their 'perfect' socialist regime)
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To: Millee
I've always thought he was a talented actor, despite Battlefield Earth. Too bad he's a dumba$$.
21 posted on 08/11/2005 2:57:34 PM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
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To: Millee

"My name is 'Idi Amin Dada.' That's two D's, two A's, and one gun." - Richard Pryor (as Idi).


22 posted on 08/11/2005 3:00:07 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Millee
noting in particular he appreciated Amin's virulent abhorrence of European colonialism in Africa.

That being sufficient to excuse his "virulent abhorrence" of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans. What an evil person. (Mr. Whittaker, I mean.)

23 posted on 08/11/2005 3:56:40 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Liberals: Too stupid to realize Dick Cheney is the real Dark Lord.)
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To: Millee

Loved him in "Bird."

He'll probably be great as Idi Amin, but geez. Not a monster? Mugabe is against colonialism too. Maybe he's not a monster either.

24 posted on 08/11/2005 5:28:44 PM PDT by Maceman (Pro Se Defendant from Hell)
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To: Northern Yankee
He liked dogs and children

and didn't drink amd looked smart in a uniform.

What does that say about a person?

25 posted on 08/11/2005 5:40:03 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Did we ever see W C Fields a W S Churchill together?)
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To: Millee
"He did things like other big men who did things that helped their countries," Whitaker said, noting in particular he appreciated Amin's virulent abhorrence of European colonialism in Africa.

If Whitaker is referring to Amin's exile and death then, yes...that was helpful, I suppose.

26 posted on 08/11/2005 6:26:17 PM PDT by grellis (node iddum eentup sechew)
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To: Oztrich Boy

Touche`


27 posted on 08/11/2005 6:29:53 PM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: Millee
Idi Amin 'not a monster'

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

28 posted on 08/11/2005 6:35:51 PM PDT by Publius6961 (Liberal level playing field: If the Islamics win we are their slaves..if we win they are our equals.)
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To: mak5
He might have been a mass murderer and he might have eaten his enemies...

...but aside from that, how was he a monster?

29 posted on 08/11/2005 6:36:43 PM PDT by Publius6961 (Liberal level playing field: If the Islamics win we are their slaves..if we win they are our equals.)
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To: Millee; Jersey Republican Biker Chick
I agree with this brilliant actor.  The west is always trying to put a negative spin on Amin, mainly because he was a successful African. 
 
I mean, take chaining together a dozen political prisoners and having them bash the guy next to them to death with a sledge hammer and then hand it to the man behind them for the same treatment while Idi watched.  I mean, yeah, I guess you could say that was brutal and barbaric, but you could also say it was kind and merciful.  It's all perspective.
 
I look forward to seeing Whitaker put a charming human face on this cuddly dictator.
 
Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

30 posted on 08/12/2005 6:53:50 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: Owl_Eagle

You're right. I guess I've always looked at Amin through my xenophobic eyes. Forrest has taught us all a valuable lesson about finding the good in people. Think I'll go hug a tree now.


31 posted on 08/12/2005 7:05:28 AM PDT by Millee (Earth First! We'll log the other planets later!)
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To: Millee

He was a brilliant cook.


32 posted on 08/16/2005 11:37:29 AM PDT by weegee (The Rovebaiting by DUAC must stop. It is nothing but a partisan witchhunt.)
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