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La Duce Vita

An interactive web documentary (mostly in Italian with French subtitles) takes a look into Predappio - the city where Mussolini was born and where neofascists assemble yearly to commemorate the anniversary of the March on Rome and to pray over the Duce's tomb. Ironically, the town has been left wing ever since the end of the war and the current mayor, Giorgio Frassinetti, is exasperated :"We have to work on the image of the town, on the prejudices against it... but these marching imbeciles are not helping!". Frassinetti participated in the Difficult Heritage conference, part of Contemporary History Days in Braunau am Inn, Hitler's birthplace, and reflected on how easier it is to attempt to recover a town's honor when there is no dead body to be worshipped but his performance and town strategy is still being criticized.
posted by Marauding Ennui on Oct 31, 2012 - 1 comment

Annotated Filmography of Charlie Chaplin

Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 17, 2012 - 35 comments

If you've got them by the bits, their hearts and minds will follow.

The Dictator's practical internet guide to power retention. The Internet can be a real pain for a comfortable dictator. Here's how to turn it to your nefarious advantage.
posted by bitmage on May 14, 2012 - 6 comments

How to Be a Dictator

In a few easy steps... 2 NYU political scientists distill academic findings and theory for the public and help you - or anyone - be a dictator. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Jan 3, 2012 - 12 comments

An unusual coup d'etat

Today is the 30th anniversary of Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawling's coup d'etat catapulting him into the crowded ranks of military dictators in Africa. Yet, Ghana chooses to celebrate this date and Rawlings' speech on this historic occasion has been shared and published, his words hearkened to (albeit) and his global standing only embellished by his [role]* as the African Union's envoy to Somalia. What manner of military dictatorship was this and what changes did the coup accomplish in democratic Ghana, today considered the fastest growing and stable Sub Saharan economy expected to be elevated to middle income status in the near future? [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 31, 2011 - 7 comments

Barbet Schroeder's "General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait"

Amin's hunger for publicity was so great, in fact, that in 1974 he became the first dictator in history to agree to be the subject of an independent documentary film. The resulting movie, Barbet Schroeder's General Idi Amin Dada... is a devastating look at despotism in action and a riveting, and strangely entertaining, portrait of Amin. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 16, 2011 - 31 comments

Bad Politics, Worse Prose

Famous dictators and the books/poetry they write. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 20, 2011 - 21 comments

Dictator Chic

February 25, 2011: Vogue calls her "a rose in the desert": "Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies." (Wikipedia about her husband: "He has been criticized for his disregard for human rights, economic lapses, sponsorship of terrorism, and corruption.") [more inside]
posted by iviken on Feb 27, 2011 - 25 comments

Kim Jong Phil

For my palette, I’ve copied pre-existing dictatorial art. Paintings from North Korea, statues of assorted dictators (Kim Il Sung, Laurent Kabilla, and Saddam Hussein). I had these works re-created in China, and each instance, I’ve replaced the great leaders with myself. A new series by Phil Toledano (previously, previously, previously).
posted by infinitefloatingbrains on Jan 25, 2011 - 27 comments

Just Visiting

Following 25 years of exile, and disembarking in the midst of a power vacuum, Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has returned to Haiti. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Jan 17, 2011 - 70 comments

The Gangster Prince of Liberia

Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007 about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 27, 2010 - 9 comments

The Director, the Actress, the Dictator, and the Monster who was Hungry for Iron

Shin Sang-ok (1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 5, 2010 - 14 comments

The Littlest Despot

Potency: a photo series of a baby dressed up as evil historical dictators by Nina Maria Kleivan.
posted by gman on Mar 18, 2010 - 67 comments

Man Gets On Bus

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has engineered a coup on top of a coup in sacking the judiciary, suspending the constitution, controlling the press, quashing dissent and taking over the central bank pdf press release. With no reportage of the takeover or criticism of the junta allowed, and with local journalists arrested and foreign correspondents expelled, how is the Fiji’s story being told? Bloggers have taken to the task, but are undertaking huge risks.
posted by mattoxic on Apr 16, 2009 - 27 comments

Why Adolf, what bloodshot eyes you have ...

Meet Adolf Hitler. Godwin! Look right into Stalin's eyes. 350 people from the dictator's country, Photoshopped together to create eerily alive photographs. (via kottke, via conscientious) [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Aug 1, 2008 - 41 comments

We Have a Nutcase

His Excellency Alhagi Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, President of the Gambia and American Biographical Institute 2000 Millennium Medal of Honour, has reportedly called for the murder of all homosexuals. But it's all good, because he can cure AIDS (or so he says).
posted by Skeptic on May 22, 2008 - 31 comments

Hail Abacha

Dear Friend, I am a Swiss Banker currently in possession of over $ 1 Billion in funds stashed away by the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of the Congo. Our Swiss Confederation President Micheline Calmy-Rey said her government is holding just $6.6m frozen in accounts. "We discussed the question of Mobutu's funds and my government is prepared to restore the money to the DR Congo as soon as possible," Ms Rey told reporters in the DR Congo capital, Kinshasa, after talks with Mr Kabila. But we can help you get the rest of the 92.4 million dollars if you will just send us your bank account number and call to confirm your ID and pin number.
posted by infini on Jul 17, 2007 - 65 comments

Artist stroke Mass-Murdering Fuckhead.

The art of Hitler. For sale. What a roundabout way to up the value of your paintings.
posted by 6am on Jul 16, 2006 - 66 comments

Bad Men

Dictator of the Month. Your one stop shop for all your dictator-oriented needs. Even includes scorecards. From Amin to Zedong, they're all right here, folks. Enjoy some righteous anger.
posted by Meatbomb on Mar 21, 2006 - 17 comments

Gadafi the Blogging Dictator

Muammar Qadhafi's Official website (in Arabic, English and French) is a collection of rantsthoughts by the Libyan Numero Uno about politics, including terrorism (Talibans: guilty of "tergiversation libertinism"), Turkey's EU membership (Turk Islamists "believe in polygamy, maids and what the right hand possessed, i.e. European Christian women") and AIDS (a CIA creation). A companion website gives you Qadhafi the Humanitarian, Qadhafi the World Thinker and Qadhafi the Inventor of the Safest Vehicle On Earth ("the leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution").
Of course, there are many reasons for not being amused at all by Qadhafi, but these folks know why he's such a despicable character: "This man is actually a Jew". And to teach him a lesson they stole the Qadhafi thumbnails of his official site.
(Slighly related news: Mustapha Akkad, producer of the Halloween horror movie franchise, but also the director of the Qadhafi-sponsored propaganda/epic The Lion of the Desert, was killed (with his daughter) in yesterday's hotel bombings in Amman.)
posted by elgilito on Nov 11, 2005 - 49 comments

The Dictators Contest

The Dictators Contest "Back by popular demand is the Original Dictators Contest. 16 of the last century's most fearsome autocrats have been selected and pitted randomly against one another to compete for the title Dictator of Dictators". If you don't see your favorite Dictator, try The Second Dictators Contest. Agree with their results? Did they forget anyone?
posted by Mack Twain on Apr 11, 2003 - 5 comments

This war plan forces me to stand by the dictator who tortured me.

This war plan forces me to stand by the dictator who tortured me. Iraqi writer, an exiled dissident and victim of Hussein's regime speaks against war and sanctions: "You are "either with us or against us", they say. As an Iraqi that means choosing between war and the dictator. To be on the side of the oppressed does not mean we are unaware of the complexity of the situation. To campaign for the lifting of sanctions, for an end to the paralysing bombardment and daily threat of war is to stand by the Iraqi people; it is that policy which will help them to change the oppressive regime. Any change should be initiated from within Iraq, not imposed by Bush or Blair."
posted by talos on Sep 18, 2002 - 11 comments

Reuters confirms

Reuters confirms that our friend Dubya did in fact authorize the attack on Iraqi radar stations. We're killing people and giving a dictator fuel for the propaganda mill he needs to prop up his regime. But that's okay, because the people who are dying don't share our race and religion and so, in fact, they're not really "people" at all. They're ciphers and objects and statistics. Apparently it's only when white Protesetants die that death really matters. Incidentally, remember this bombing isn't a matter of protecting the Kuwaiti ethnic minority (read: our oil interests), this is over perceived violation of arbitrarily imposed NATO sanctions. Scum. Scum scum scum!
posted by hanseugene on Feb 16, 2001 - 40 comments

Guess the Evil Dictator or Television Sit-Com Character

Guess the Evil Dictator or Television Sit-Com Character Hours of fun.
posted by ignu on Nov 17, 2000 - 25 comments

What comes next?

What comes next? Idi Amin asking to return to power in Uganda?

Has Jean-Claude Duvalier gone completely mad?
posted by Steven Den Beste on Sep 23, 2000 - 2 comments

Oh my lord. The Guess the Dictator/Sit-com character site works by asking a series of questions about a person you have to think of. I selected an obscure sit-com character, Chris Elliot from Fox's ill-fated "Get a Life" series. If you would have asked me to bet money on it before proceeding, I would have gladly put $20 on the site not figuring it out. After about 15 questions, it guessed right. This is scary stuff. [via rebeccablood]
posted by mathowie on Feb 26, 2000 - 15 comments

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