The Ambassador

by Alan Rapp on November 16, 2012

in Home Video

  • Title: The Ambassador
  • IMDB: link

the-ambassador-dvdA funny film about blood diamonds? As odd as that sounds, it’s exactly what The Ambassador delivers. For his latest work Danish journalist and filmmaker Mads Brügger undertook the challenge to expose the corruption of diplomatic titles sold on the black market and the African conflict diamond trade in the Central African Republic by purchasing a diplomatic title and becoming the newest ambassador for Liberia.

Through the use of hidden cameras Brügger is able to document the alarming amount of corruption, bribes, and backroom dealing for those with enough money the grease the wheels of the corrupt government of the CAR.

Despite good intentions, Brügger is no white knight. The filmmaker never takes a moral stand on the situation, and his involvement only increases the wealth of the corrupt officials he exposes while giving false hope to citizens who believed the man’s cover story of opening a match factory in the region which would have employed hundreds, if not thousands, of workers.

The documentary is able to balance the depressing real-life circumstances by showcasing the preposterous nature of Brügger’s enterprise. The film’s ending is somewhat anti-climatic given the amount of tension Brügger is under over the course of the documentary, even after making all the appropriate bribes. I was also bothered that Brügger never addresses where the large amount of money (in excess of more than €15,000,000) came from that was spent on these bribes, documents, his cover story, and other necessary financing which was needed to pull off such an unlikely project.

It’s not a movie that I’d be likely go back to any time soon, but for a single viewing The Ambassador provides a compelling tale so ridiculous that we know it must be true. Sadly, neither the DVD nor Blu-ray contain any extras or featurettes with any additional information about the situation in the CAR, the filmmaker, or the documentary itself.

[Image Entertainment, Blu-ray $29.97 / DVD $27.97]

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