Paul Robeson: Outsider

We continue the Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist with two silent films: Body and Soul (Oscar Micheaux, 1925) and Borderline (Kenneth Macpherson, 1925). Micheaux’s work is a “race film” made independently in the US, and is one of only a handful of the director’s works to survive. Likewise, the wildly experimental Borderline is the only surviving work of Macpherson and his Pool Group of British and American outsider artists working in Switzerland. Both are fascinating in their own light, but Borderline in particular exhibits film technique that are rather mind-blowing to see in the silent era.

General Idi Amin Dada

General Idi Amin Dada (1974) finds the titular Ugandan dictator more or less taking over film making duties for French documentarian Barbet Schroeder. Schroeder still makes the movie his in the narration and editing, and manages to undermine everything Idi Amin tried to brag on. Not that the self-deluded dictator needed any help showing that his points of pride were reasons to be mocked. Murderous men dig their own graves.