Café Europe
United Kingdom / 2006 / English dialogue with Arabic subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 121 minutes
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With a towering, potentially Oscar-winning, performance by Forest Whitaker as the dictator Idi Amen, The last King of Scotland tells of a smart, brash, young Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan (a fine performance by the up-and-coming James McAvoy), who escapes boredom at home by travelling to work in Uganda. He attracts the attention of the seemingly charming Amin and, against the advice of his attractive and experienced colleague (Gillian Anderson), is drawn into the leader's retinue as official physician and advisor. Seduced by the trappings of power, not to mention the president's third wife, he eventually finds himself in way over his head, as Amin's increasingly tyrannical power manifests itself. Based upon the award-winning novel by Giles Foden, The Last King of Scotland is directed by Kevin Macdonald, who made the award-winning documentary Touching the Void, and clearly confirms his talent, manifested here by an ability to shift between comedy and stark drama and to direct actors with finesse; watch as Whitaker so sinisterly shifts between charm and brutality. Given its subject matter, the film inevitably includes several images of violence.


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