Opening 15 Mar 2007
Writing credits: Jeremy Brock, Giles Foden
Principal actors: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Simon McBurney
The acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Kevin Macdonald, recreates a chilling portrayal of Ugandan life under the rule of Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Even more disturbing is Macdonald’s description of Amin’s unstable mental state that fueled his horrific dictatorship. Macdonald based his narrative on the novel, The Last King of Scotland, by Giles Foden. Together Macdonald, Foden and the screenplay writers, Andrea Calderwood, Lisa Bryer, and Charles Steel, eloquently combined fact with fiction to tell one of the most tragic stories of inhumane treatment known to man. I guarantee that it will keep you glued to the seat in the cinema for the full duration of the film.
The world is well aware of the atrocities Idi Amin brought upon his Ugandan people. Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland gives a real face to this extreme Ugandan leader told in the first person by his personal physician, the young Scottish Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy).
A graduate of medical school in the 1970s, Nicholas Garrigan leaves Scotland in search of a life of adventure that would feed his personal recklessness but offer practical assistance to a country in need of his medical skills. He lands a job working with Dr. Merrit (Adam Kotz) and his wife Sarah Merrit (Gillian Anderson) in a Ugandan medical mission.
Dr. Merrit is called away on a medical emergency and orders Nicholas to tend to Sarah and the mission compound. Taking orders from someone else was not Dr. Garrigan’s cup of tea and he rather enjoys the authority he has caring for the compound. While Sarah and Nicholas trave outside the compound for a little rest and relaxation, they happen upon one of Idi Amin’s political rallies. On their way home from the rally they come upon a car accident. The car belongs to Idi Amin! As Sarah and Nicholas approach the scene, Amin’s body guards freak out and summon them to attend to the wounded--one of which was a cow. Dr. Garrigan’s bold response to the crisis surrounding the accident impresses Amin. A few days later, Amin sends for the young doctor and offers him a job as his personal physician. Dr. Garrigan is thrilled with Amin’s offer and gladly accepts. He is inspired by the idea of being in the midst of Uganda’s new regime that demonstrated the real possibility of making a difference in their history. He could only imagine what opportunities he could glean from this experience. Dr. Garrigan’s fascination with his position is the beginning of a journey that tests his morals and threatens his very existence. The question is, will he live long enough to tell about it? (Karen Pecota)