11.02.2006

McMurderous Close-Up


Jane Dark faults The Last King of Scotland for overempahsizing the drama of the sexualized white individual, and the rack-focus, tight-shot plotline which pans quickly past the larger picture of Uganda in the 70s. "One goes to watch the purported star do his thing, but for the most part can't see the Forest for the trees."

I was wondering why "King" and "Scotland" were two words that ended up in the title of a film about Edi Amin's Uganda, besides the obvious reference to the title Amin gave himself, they seem to imply that this is a European fairy tale, with a bit too much superficial irony. I was pretty sure the atrocities against hundreds of thousands would not be given much stage time when compared to the crisis faced by one doctor, and was expecting to be disappointed by that. It does seem, from what I've heard so far, to overemphasize the white physician's role, and the central climax revolves around miscegenation. I haven't seen the film yet, so I can't offer my personal opinion, but will point you to Jane Dark's brief and biting Review.

"This, finally, is a quite ludicrous structuration, even within the context of single-subject cinema: less a story of Africans getting fucked by the white man than yet another projection of the boundless historical power of the white dick. The best one could hope for in this movie, in other words, is to watch an actor's attempt to inhabit a consciousness unfamiliar both to him and to us, and to see what that might be like; one gets a bit of this, and its pleasure. For the most part, however, one endures not the worst but finally the most predictable substitute, a kind of "idea" that has the force of perfect idiocy."

[Jane Dark's Sugarhigh]

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