Starring Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy, the 2006 movie depicts the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s regime as seen by a fictional Scottish physician during the 1970s.
The topic “The Lonely Totalitarian” will be discussed during the review session, which will be attended by sociologist Iman Vaqefi.
Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock co-wrote the screenplay based on Giles Foden’s 1998 novel of the same title, which refers to Amin’s claim of being the King of Scotland.
The British-German co-production was released in the United States in September 2006 and in the United Kingdom in January 2007.
It grossed $48.4 million on a $6 million budget and received positive reviews, with acclaim for Whitaker’s portrayal of Amin. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor and several other accolades.
While the character of Idi Amin and some of the events surrounding him in the film are mostly based on fact, Garrigan, Amin’s doctor, is a fictional character.
Foden has acknowledged that one real-life figure who contributed to the character Garrigan was English-born Bob Astles, who worked with Amin.
Another real-life figure who has been mentioned in connection with Garrigan is Scottish doctor Wilson Carswell.
Like the novel on which it is based, the film mixes fiction with real events to give an impression of Amin and Uganda under his rule.
While the basic arc of Amin’s rule is followed, the events in the film depart from both actual history and the plot and characters in Foden’s novel.
In real life and in the book, Kay Amin, the youngest of Idi Amin’s three wives, was impregnated by her lover, who was a Ugandan physician, who was given a different name in the book than in real life.
She died during a botched abortion performed by him, who subsequently committed suicide. Astles said in a lengthy interview for The Times with the journalist Paul Vallely that her body was dismembered by her lover so it could be hidden and was then sewn back together on Amin’s orders. Amin never had a son named Campbell.
According to Foden, the film’s depiction of Amin is comparable with the Shakespearean character Macbeth, whom he had in mind when writing the novel.
The film received a 2007 BAFTA Award for Best British Film and the BAFTA award for Best Adapted Screenplay.