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Sundance 2012 - "The Ambassador" (When A White European Buys A Title That Turns Him Into An African Diplomat)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 13, 2011 at 12:10PM

This looks like something Michael Moore might do if he was more daring, and dabbled in international politics - specifically African diplomacy. And I'm sure it'll likely offend some, but hopefully, simultaneously informs and educates... hopefully.
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'The Ambassador'
'The Ambassador'

This looks like something Michael Moore might do if he was more daring, and dabbled in international politics - specifically African diplomacy. And I'm sure it'll likely offend some, but hopefully, simultaneously informs and educates... hopefully.

I'm not familiar with director Mads Brügger's past work, so I don't have a handle on his motivations (his last work, The Red Chapel, about 2 Danish comics, one of them a spastic and both born in Korea, who join the director on a trip to North Korea, where they have been allowed access under the pretext of wanting to perform a vaudeville act, won the World Dramatic Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010; anyone see it?). But I'd be interested in checking out his latest work, which will make its North American premiere at the Sundance film festival next month. 

Here's how the festival describes it:

An enigmatic and decadent white diplomat arrives in central Africa sporting dark glasses, riding boots, and a cigarette holder. He has recently bought an ambassadorship and claims to be a do-good rich businessman spearheading a diplomatic mission. Officially, he is there to start a factory that will employ locals to produce matches. Unofficially, he has really come to gain access to the area’s vast reserves of diamonds. It soon becomes apparent that, in this postcolonial economy, nearly everyone is out to rip off everyone else, and the dangers become all too real. Mads Brügger returns to the Sundance Film Festival with yet another brilliant example of gonzo filmmaking. Armed with a diplomatic passport, a hidden camera, and his razor-sharp wit, he risks life and limb to uncover deep-rooted corruption that allows others to continue to get rich from Africa’s resources. THE AMBASSADOR is a genre-breaking tragicomedy that establishes Brügger as a singular voice in the documentary world.

I'm in! But with some trepidation... "Welcome to the bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow and diamond hustlers and corrupt politicians run free."

Watch the trailer below for a look at what to expect in this purported exposé

This article is related to: Festivals, Trailer


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