The Devil’s Double tells recent Iraq history through a doppelganger’s dilemma: does he destroy his family or his soul?
Lee Tamahori’s dynamic thriller is based on the true story of Latif Yahia, the regular Iraqi forced to play Saddam Hussein’s psychopathic elder son Uday, owing to an accident of resemblance (later enhanced by cosmetic surgery).
When Uday learns that there’s a man who can be his fiday, his stand-in for potentially dangerous public events, he makes him an offer that can’t be refused. Latif must dress and act like Uday when the occasion calls for it, or else Uday will have Latif’s family killed.
Latif is also required to renounce all personal ties, including his career as a distinguished Iraq Army officer, and disappear into his new role.
“You are asking me to extinguish myself,” Latif says.
He also has to learn to negotiate the demands of Uday’s watchful security chief (Raad Rawi) and the moods of papa Saddam (Philip Quast) who considers his son to be an idiot unworthy of the family name.
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