Jakob’s From Fact to Film: The Truth Behind “The Last King of Scotland”


Directed by Kevin Macdonald, The Last King of Scotland is an adaptation of Author Giles Forden’s novel. While this film is a book adaptation, it also has an incredible amount of historical accuracy to the source material. Set in Uganda between the years 1971 and 1976, this film centers around the newly, self-appointed President of Uganda, Idi Amin, played by Forest Whitaker, and his relationship with his confidant and personal physician Nicholas Garrigan, played by James McAvoy.

The first question many people ask when they see the film is, were these people actually real? President Idi Amin was indeed a real person who took over the country of Uganda through a coup d’état against incumbent president Milton Obote. Born sometime between 1923 and 1928, Amin was abandoned by his father and recruited to the British colonial army, where he served for eight years. Afterwards, Amin quickly rose to prominence in Ugandan politics and military, eventually becoming commander of the Ugandan army. While President Milton Obote was on a foreign trip, Amin took his opportunity and seized control of the country for himself. He would rule Uganda from 1971 to 1979 before being overthrown himself.

*Spoilers Ahead*

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