Mads Brügger: The Ambassador/ idfa
Skrevet den 06-10-2011 23:06:23 af Tue Steen Müller
From the press release of IDFA today: The 24th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) will open on November 16 in Pathé Tuschinski with The Ambassador by Danish filmmaker and journalist Mads Brügger Cortzen. In this documentary, Brügger Cortzen exposes the trade in diplomatic passports in Africa – a trade in which Westerners play a major role. The film also competes in the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.
Mads Brügger Cortzen (1972) previously made films such as The Red Chapel, with which he won a Jury Award at the Sundance film festival in 2010. He is also known in Denmark as a presenter of various television programmes.
The Ambassador, shot largely using a hidden camera, reveals another side of Africa: an underworld that cannot be recorded in any other way. Dressed in a neo-colonist style, director Mads Brügger Cortzen goes to the Central African Republic to become an ambassador for Liberia. Once there, he sets up a match factory, run by Pygmies, as a cover for his ambitions in the diamond trade. What Brügger is actually trying to do, however, is reveal the relations of power – and commerce – in that country.
The Ambassador is competing for the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. On Friday, 25 November, the winners of the various IDFA competition programmes will be announced at the closing ceremony in Tuschinski 1. IDFA will take place from 16 to 27 November on and around Amsterdam’s Rembrandtplein square.