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10 June 2007 @ 02:55 pm
On Friday night, eatyryoung and I watched "The Last King of Scotland," starring Forest Whitaker. This film is based upon memories of a young Scottish doctor who became the personal physician of Idi Amin, President of Uganda from 1971-1979. His rise to power was aided by British political interests. Under Amin's auspices an estimated 300,000 Ugandans were killed. Though the precision of the film is debatable, the photography is beautiful and the plot haunting.

Read the IMDB review here.

Read the Wikipedia.org article on Idi Amin here.

I went to sleep with visions of political assassination, repression, and imperialism in my head. But I remembered, too, why I originally made the decision to study Guatemala. And though I can never feign a personal understanding of political repression, I remembered empathy, memory and forgetting. Setting aside guilt-over-privilege (as much as possible for a moment), one of my last comments before drifting toward dreams of assassinations was, "We are really lucky to have been born in America."

And it's true. Knee-jerk liberal white guilt (what does that mean?) would have us disavow American-ness (what does that mean?), but we are so effing lucky to have the privilege of deciding to shed our American-ness... Other folks can not so easily shed their perceived nationality, nor wish to do so, as what is ethnically-blank is presumed Western, racially-blank perceived white. And sometimes what is important is to acknowledge where we're coming from... wherever that is.

Feminist Standpoint Theory

Oh, and another thing, what's the deal with most movies about politics in African nations focusing upon genocide, instability and repression. eatyryoung and I are a little skeptical about continued shallow demonization of the nation-building processes followed by African nations in Western cinema (and, for that matter, political cause du jour).