Itâ€™s not always easy for documentarians to cross the bridge over to fiction, but it seems Kevin Macdonald has made the transition almost flawlessly. The Academy Award-winning director of One Day in September, which tells the story of the 1972 Munich Olympics, has set his sights on the charismatic and infamous former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin with the biopic The Last King of Scotland, opening September 27th.
With Forest Whitaker cast as Aminâ€™s uncanny on-screen incarnation, The Last King of Scotland seems destined for Oscar nods, and although Whitaker is causing most of the buzz surrounding the film, Macdonaldâ€™s leadership is unquestionably the foundation of this compelling portrait. Drawing from the realism of his past documentary projects, Macdonald insisted on shooting the film in Uganda, saying: “I wanted to capture that different, more realistic image of Africa, which I think will surprise people. And once we arrived in Uganda, we were surrounded by history. Almost everyone we met had been deeply affected by the time of Idi Amin in some way. Being where it all happened made a massive difference.â€
Though production company Fox Searchlight gambled a bit in choosing a relative newcomer to head the film, itâ€™s clear that Macdonald has proven his worth as a moviemaker who can steer a risky and controversial production towards near-guaranteed successâ€”regardless of genre.
For more information, visit http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/thelastkingofscotland.