On the DVD director's commentary, Kevin Macdonald states that during filming of Idi Amin's visit to the village near the mission, many of the local extras thought it was the real Idi Amin on stage giving speeches.
In an early scene, Idi Amin playfully trades sparring punches with a group of Ugandan boys. It isn't mentioned in the film, but Amin was a champion boxer. He was Uganda's light heavyweight champion from 1951 to 1960.
Director Kevin Macdonald and his producers met Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni to get permission to film in Uganda. "He really responded to the idea that we wanted to make a film about Ugandan history in the same way that everybody we met responded," recalls Macdonald. "They wanted this story to be told. They didn't feel prejudiced against us because we were foreigners wanting to tell their story - they were very generous, and the president gave us carte blanche and even allowed us to film in the parliament building while parliament was in session. We also had the co-operation of the army and we were allowed to close down the main street in the city."
Idi Amin's full title is as follows "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular".
Amin had several British doctors in real life, but not a Scottish one. The character Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is loosely based on Bob Astles, a British soldier and diplomat who was one of Amin's confidants, but who fell out of favor with him, and was temporarily sent to Makindye Prison, one of Uganda's most brutal prisons.
In the first scene in the village, where Idi Amin does his speech one of the spectators can be seen wearing a Scouts Canada uniform. The uniform can be distinguished by the Canadian flag above the left breast pocket.