General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait

by Barbet Schroeder

France
1974
92 min
OV English, Swahili, French - French subtitles
Feature film
Documentary
Color
DCP

Retrospectives & Focus 2021

Official synopsis

Alternately naive or lucid, funny or disturbing, enlightened or sure of his physical strength and the mission he must accomplish, Amin Dada isn’t done intriguing us, or should we say worrying us. He’s the one who cheered Hitler on and made thousands of people disappear after he came to power. Through this man who proclaims that "all power is won by KO", Barbet Schroeder takes the opportunity to sociologically and politically study this country in full change since Great Britain left: the lack of currency, the problem of 80,000 Hindus who held 80% of the economy and were chased out after the president had a dream, the disorganization of trade which causes a dizzying rise in prices and inflation breaking all records in this African country.

The programmer’s eye

An update of the myth of the child who became a king, the film stands as a disturbing portrait because of the distance it takes from a despot, here represented as a fictional character; it leads us, almost through a defense mechanism, to laugh at his horror and his crime. Idi Amin Dada is the almost sympathetic onlooker character of a film that offers multiple avenues for reflection on documentary ethics, forcing the viewer's intelligence to bring out all its presumed humor. Idi Amin Dada isn't an irresponsible reckless dictator and gambler, nor the bankruptcy imposed on Uganda an absent-minded mistake, but the result of rampant corruption. — Pierre Guidez

Biography and Filmography

Born in 1941 in Tehran (Iran), Barbet Schroeder is a French director and producer of Swiss origin. As a child, he followed his geologist father to Colombia. He then chose France to conduct his studies. Schroeder collaborated with the film review Les Cahiers du cinema then directed two short films; Jean-Luc Godard took him as an assistant in “The Carabineers”. In 1962, he founded the production company Les Films du Losange with Éric Rohmer, which produced almost all of Rohmer's films and films by Jacques Rivette, Jean Eustache, Rainer W. Fassbinder and Wim Wenders. He collaborated with the Pink Floyd for “More” (1969) and “Obscured by Clouds” (1972), which gave a great place to the theme of freedom in settings representative of hippie culture. In 1974, he made a documentary on Idi Amin Dada in which he revealed the dictator. Barbet Schroeder then left to work in the United States. An admirer of Charles Bukowski, he commissioned the latter to write “Barfly” which assured him certain recognition and allowed him to direct “Reversal of Fortune” (1990) for which he was selected for the Oscars. He then directed other films in the United States before returning to France. (Fema La Rochelle)

2017 - THE VENERABLE W. - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2017 - OÙ EN ÊTES-VOUS, BARBET SCHROEDER ? (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2015 - AMNESIA - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2008 - INJU: THE BEAST IN THE SHADOW - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2007 - TERROR'S ADVOCATE - Barbet Schroeder - Director
2002 - MURDER BY NUMBERS  - Barbet Schroeder - Director
2000 - OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1997 - DESPERATE MEASURES - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1995 - BEFORE AND AFTER - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1994 - KISS OF DEATH - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1992 - SINGLE WHITE FEMALE - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1990 - REVERSAL OF FORTUNE - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1987 - BARFLY - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1984 - TRICHEURS - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
1982 - THE CHARLES BUKOWSKI TAPES - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1978 - KOKO: A TALKING GORILLA - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1975 - MISTRESS - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
1974 - GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA: A SELF PORTRAIT - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1971 - THE VALLEY OBSCURED BY CLOUDS - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
1971 - LE COCHON AUX PATATES DOUCES (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1971 - MAQUILLAGES (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1971 - SING-SING (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1969 - MORE - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter

Idi Amin Dada

Les Films du Losange

Les Films du Losange

Les Films du Losange

de Barbet Schroeder

Born in 1941 in Tehran (Iran), Barbet Schroeder is a French director and producer of Swiss origin. As a child, he followed his geologist father to Colombia. He then chose France to conduct his studies. Schroeder collaborated with the film review Les Cahiers du cinema then directed two short films; Jean-Luc Godard took him as an assistant in “The Carabineers”. In 1962, he founded the production company Les Films du Losange with Éric Rohmer, which produced almost all of Rohmer's films and films by Jacques Rivette, Jean Eustache, Rainer W. Fassbinder and Wim Wenders. He collaborated with the Pink Floyd for “More” (1969) and “Obscured by Clouds” (1972), which gave a great place to the theme of freedom in settings representative of hippie culture. In 1974, he made a documentary on Idi Amin Dada in which he revealed the dictator. Barbet Schroeder then left to work in the United States. An admirer of Charles Bukowski, he commissioned the latter to write “Barfly” which assured him certain recognition and allowed him to direct “Reversal of Fortune” (1990) for which he was selected for the Oscars. He then directed other films in the United States before returning to France. (Fema La Rochelle)

2017 - THE VENERABLE W. - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2017 - OÙ EN ÊTES-VOUS, BARBET SCHROEDER ? (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2015 - AMNESIA - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2008 - INJU: THE BEAST IN THE SHADOW - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
2007 - TERROR'S ADVOCATE - Barbet Schroeder - Director
2002 - MURDER BY NUMBERS  - Barbet Schroeder - Director
2000 - OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1997 - DESPERATE MEASURES - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1995 - BEFORE AND AFTER - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1994 - KISS OF DEATH - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1992 - SINGLE WHITE FEMALE - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1990 - REVERSAL OF FORTUNE - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1987 - BARFLY - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1984 - TRICHEURS - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
1982 - THE CHARLES BUKOWSKI TAPES - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1978 - KOKO: A TALKING GORILLA - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1975 - MISTRESS - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
1974 - GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA: A SELF PORTRAIT - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1971 - THE VALLEY OBSCURED BY CLOUDS - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter
1971 - LE COCHON AUX PATATES DOUCES (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1971 - MAQUILLAGES (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1971 - SING-SING (Short) - Barbet Schroeder - Director
1969 - MORE - Barbet Schroeder - Director and screenwriter