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“Idi Amin, my hero”

An adviser to the Ugandan president tells the story behind the making of The Last King of Scotland—and has a surprising conversation with Forest Whitaker

By John Nagenda   January 2007

Some time in January 2005, somebody introduced me to Cowboy Films. The company’s owners wanted me to act as conduit to the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. They wanted to meet him to express their deep wish to film Giles Foden’s novel about Idi Amin, The Last King of Scotland, in Uganda.

Two and a half decades earlier, Museveni had helped to exile Amin—as capricious a figure as ever ruled a country. How often have I sat in a taxi around the world—in India, China, the US and Europe (especially in London)—and, upon saying I was from Uganda, heard…

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