General Idi Amin Dada Autoportrait

#45

France | 90 min.

1.33:1 OAR

colour

Monaural

Special Features

• New restored transfer from the original Ektachrome 16mm

• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

• 24-PAGE FULL-COLOUR BOOKLET containing a rare Barbet Schroeder Interview from December 1976; Notes on the cuts made to General Idi Amin Dada Autoportrait (which have since been restored); and A Chronos Who Devours Children – a psychological profile of Amin by Dr. Tilo Held, which uses Schroeder’s film as its source material.

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General Idi Amin Dada Autoportrait

Barbet Schroeder, 1974


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If this mind-boggling documentary about one of the twentieth century’s most reviled dictators were fiction it would be acclaimed as a comic masterpiece… but it is all true. With an ambition the size of Napoleon, Idi Amin considered himself a major leader and revolutionary on the world stage. In reality, his regime was amateurish, disorganised, and his maniacal command both hilarious and bizarre.

Knowing that Amin put at least 300,000 people to death between 1971 and 1979 gives the film a uniquely chilling tone. Through his anti-Semitic rages, fetish for artillery and military power, and the aggression that drifts through almost every speech, Amin attempts to transform himself into a figure of heroic proportions. He awarded himself the title: “His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, King of Scotland, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.

The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Barbet Schroeder’s General Idi Amin Dada Autoportrait which, amazingly, was made with the full support and participation of Amin himself. Schroeder (Maitresse, Barfly, Single White Female) lets Amin do all the work, and instead of the carefully managed PR piece Amin clearly hoped for, we instead see a preening, vain, psychotic clown who aspires to be Africa’s Hitler.


Essay :

Notes on the Cuts Made to General Idi Amin Dada Autoportrait

by Barbet Schroeder, 1975

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