Still of Mads Brügger in The Ambassador
Mads Brügger returns to the world of documentary filmmaking with another voyeuristic hidden camera journey that transports viewers into more undesirable territories. Last time, he snuck us into North Korea in “The Red Chapel,” but his latest secretive expedition covertly places audiences in the middle of the Central African Republic (CAR) while Brügger poses as a foreign business diplomat attempting to set up a faux organization in the third world in order to leave with a briefcase full of diamonds. Brügger obtains this special status and exposes the corrupt world of diplomatic ranking with the help of corrupt businessmen who abuse the system in order to exploit third world countries. As the documentarian digs deeper into this immoral undertaking, he quickly realizes he may be the one being conned by individuals far more shady than himself. Too many issues remain unanswered after the credits roll in this project—Some call into question the authenticity of the final product. While Brügger does use hidden cameras during high-profile interviews, it’s clear a cameraman is following him around during most of the production. Does this oddity not concern any of the crooked individuals involved? Furthermore, as one criminal after another is bribed with thousands of dollars, one might question the financer behind the project. As the running time progresses and the scheme appears to drift further and further from its initial course, Brügger appears to fill up space with nonsensical scenes (What’s the deal with the audio recordings of whales?). Brügger offers multiple scenarios that once again prove the filmmaker is one of the most daring artists of our time, but, unlike his previous endeavors, “The Ambassador” is far too unhinged and scattered to place him in a flawless spotlight. The final straw comes from the abrupt ending that contains no resolution, which forces the feeling as though the entire journey was all for naught.
Time: 9:00 am Date: 1/27/2012 Venue: Yarrow Hotel Theatre
Time: 1:00 pm Date: 1/28/2012 Venue: Redstone Cinema 7
Time: 3:00 pm Date: 1/28/2012 Venue: Salt Lake City Library