The Last King of Scotland

Watched the excellent if disturbing The Last King of Scotland. For those who haven't seen it the movie is about a young Scott, Dr Nicholas Garrigan, who was appointed as personal physician to Idi Amin after the coup in Uganda. Its a harrowing tale of being overpowered and dominated by an increasingly irrational and menacing evil. 

At the start of the relationship everything is sweetness and light. The doctor receives extravagant gifts. But the thing that draws him closest to Amin is his trust, confidence and apparently sincere friendship. Further into the story when he begins to realise all is not well in Uganda, he asks for permission to return home. Embracing him, Amin declines with the words "I embrace you, Uganda embraces you." Suddenly he is trapped by something larger than himself that embraces and smothers. Finally the evil is revealed for the irrational, murderous horror that it really is, but by this time the doctor can't easily escape. He finally does so through an African friend dying to cover up how he has got away.

I don't usually like allegory, but it was hard to watch this account of madness and evil without drawing direct parallels to how sin works in our lives. First the subtle seductions, pleasures and gifts. The promise of pure enjoyment and the power that goes with material things and relationships. Then, when we start to see through the seduction and want out, the smothering embrace of spiritual forces that don't want to let go. Finally, when we decide to take real action, the threats to try to keep us enslaved.

And the need for someone else to die to make escape possible. 

The film doesn't set out to be an allegory of sin, but it is one, mesmirisingly so. Don't watch if you are easily unnerved, but if you like thought-provoking historical drama, highly recommended