The Last King Of Scotland (2006)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Last King Of Scotland</strong> (2006)

(In theaters, January 2007) The “African thriller” sub-genre picks up another good entry with this dramatic version of Idi Amin’s reign of terror. Here, a young Scottish doctor stands in for an audience both fascinated and then repelled by Amin’s garrulous charm and utter lack of conscience. The protagonist’s gradual descent into Amin’s madness is reflected in the visual tones of the film, which gets darker and darker as the film advances. This isn’t the only subtle trick played on us: The camera gets noticeably more jittery whenever Amin’s on screen, almost as if the power of the character couldn’t be contained on mere film. (Forrest Whittaker’s turn as Amin is hypnotically compelling, a sure case for an Academy Award nomination.) It all adds up to a small but very effective film, one that manages to use fiction to give us a glimpse at the truth.

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