Forest Whitaker:Jason’s Lyric/Last King of Scotland

  1. Forest Whitaker portrayed Idi Amin very well in the Last King of Scotland. I doubt that any other actor could have executed the role any better than he did. However, I remember a role that Forest Whitaker played in the film Jason’s lyric. Whitaker played an alcoholic and abusive husband in Jason’s lyric. Like Idi Amin, he had crazed tendencies. As I watched Last King of Scotland, I realized that Whitaker’s earlier role as a drunken father influenced my reading of his portrayal of Idi Amin. I actually began to critique him according to his role in Jason’s Lyric. Still, I believe that Whitaker’s earlier role helped him earn his role as Idi Amin. Concerning reading representation, I struggled with the cliché representation of the African dictator. I think that showing movies such as Last King of Scotland, has conditioned people to believe that dictatorships are the only forms of leadership in Africa. This notion furthers the stereotype of a lack of civilization in Africa. In spite of how inaccurate it may be, Idi Amin’s character is a permanent representation of African government.               

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