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War and Military History

How are Nicholas Garrigan and Idi Amin similar in The Last King of Scotland?


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July 15, 2008 9:20PM

The simple answer to this question is that both the historical and factual Idi Amin Dada and the fictional Nicholas Garrigan became corrupted by power, prestige, celebrity, authority and notoriety. Both exercised extreme liberties with their subjects in an atmosphere absent of normal moral constraints. In Garrigan's case, the film early on exposes the young doctor's penchant for shameless casual sex with a fellow passenger on the bus enroute to his mission outpost. This is followed on by his flirtation with the wife of a fellow doctor at the mission. Finally, Garrigan manages to seduce even one of the dictator's wives. Amin's legacy of corruption, by way of parallel, is a matter of historical record that is deeply rooted in an ancient struggle for power against a backdrop of political and ethnic rivalry, distrust and hatred.