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Finished

The Benevolent Dictator

The filmmakers film the present day, without recourse to archive material, and create a tension between the testimony of this previously abused child, who had to toughen up to survive, and images of his current life. In his adopted country, his relatively wealthy situation long ago established unequal relationships between his twelve domestics, his wife and himself. “I knew that Malawi wasn’t democratic, I’d seen lots of dictatorships… You set that aside and turn the situation to your advantage.” Midway between a lucid analysis of colonial mechanisms (especially economic ones) and outright cynicism, his discourse becomes even more disquieting when contrasted with the daily and almost silent situations of his entourage working for him non-stop. (Charlotte Garson)
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