Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker ready for his Oscar with portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland
"I want to tell stories that are revealing of the human condition."
Forest Whitaker in conversation with Tavis Smiley in 2003
The intensely talented and committed Whitaker takes on the difficult task of portraying the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin with The Last King of Scotland, opening this week across the country. Bob Mondelo, reviewing the film on NPR says that Whitaker portrays Amin as "commanding, fearsome, wide-eyed and all too human" and that the film was directed by Kevin MacDonald with "a cinematic urgency to match its historical events." A disciplined craftsman, Whitaker spent months in Uganda interviewing family and associates of Amin and even learned enough Swahili to be able to ad lib with actors on the set. Check out the NPR site for an extended interview with the star and scenes from the movie.
Read about another famous Amin:
When I was in Kenya in July, I had the pleasure of meeting Salim Amin, the son of the Kenyan photojournalist Mohamed Amin. Mohamed Amin is arguably the greatest photojournalist to come of Africa and was responsible for breaking the story of the Ethiopan famine. He also got closer to Idi Amin than anyone else and was the journalist the dictator contacted for an exclusive interview while in exile. The nail biting story of how he almost flew back with Amin to Entebbe right before the Isreali raid is high drama indeed and is one of the most gripping scenes in Salim Amin's film about his relationship with his famous father, Mo and Me.
Books to check out: The Man Who Moved The World: The Life and Work of Mohamed Amin