Skip to comments.Idi Amin 'not a monster'
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.
Yeah, and Ted Kennedy is not a drunk!! (/sarcasm)
He's just a misunderstood gourmet.
Somebody needs to remind Forest Whitaker that, even in Hollywood, torturing, slaughtering, cooking and eating people is considered 'not a good thing'.
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?!
He might have been a mass murderer and he might have eaten his enemies, but he was misunderstood.
That's because he was a snappy dresser and had excellent table manners.
300,00 to 500,000 killed during his rule? So hwat magic number do you have to hit before you are considered a monster?
Like Hitler, and Stalin.
I guess its ok then.
'Whatta maroon! Is he related to Harry Belafonte?
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"
Idi Amin did not just kill 300,000 of his small nation's population, he ATE lots of his victims.
He's not a monster, he just ate like one.
Queer Eye for the Straight Cannibal!
Yeah, I guess all those people died by accident.
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.
(something stupid falls out of his mouth)
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...
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