The World Reacts to a Dictator’s Self-Portrait

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Dec 20, 2017

Barbet Schroeder’s General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait brings us into the unnerving presence of one of the most infamous political figures of his era: the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who ruled the country from 1971 to 1979, during which time he oversaw the slaughtering of as many as three hundred thousand of his compatriots. Picking up with its subject in 1974, as he continued to consolidate his brutal military regime, the film observes Amin presiding over a variety of official functions, and all the while boasting of his ruthlessness. Upon its initial release, the documentary was greeted with particular interest among an unusual demographic—Amin and his fellow dictators. In this excerpt from an interview featured on our new edition of General Idi Amin Dada, Schroeder talks about their responses.