Review of General Idi Amin Dada (1974)

Moving picture, 90 minutes

The military dictator of Uganda, in his own words: How he came to power, his thoughts on policy, his music, the parties in his honour, his silent cabinet, his 18 children, and his attempt to relieve famine in the UK by sending three lorries’ worth of vegetables.

Very few comments; the film refers to itself as a self-portrait. It reads equally well as a study of what people do when they are no longer required to do anything, and a study of the reason why this particular person does nothing: of the type of personality who chooses to be a dictator. In the former reading, this is how power corrupts; this is roughly what each of us would become if nobody around us disagreed.

moving picture non-fiction