Drafthouse Films Acquires The Darkly Comic, Controversial Doc THE AMBASSADOR

Filmmaker Mads Brügger rips the lid off black market selling of diplomatic immunity, and how that feeds violence and horror in Africa.

Drafthouse Films is an acquisitions machine! We've been bringing you a lot of news from our sister company, which distributes unique, unusual and often ballsy movies that are completely badass. The latest announcement is Drafthouse's second doc (the first is Electric Boogaloo, Mark Hartley's doc about Cannon Films, which is still in production), The Ambassador. The film played Sundance, where I missed it, but the rest of the team saw it and loved it. 

What's the movie about? Let's turn to the synopsis to find out!

This darkly comic, genre-bending piece of gonzo journalism from international provocateur Mads Brügger (filmmaker of Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Red Chapel) rips the corroded lid off the global scheme of political corruption and exploitation happening in one of the most dangerous places on the planet: the Central African Republic. Armed with a phalanx of hidden cameras, black-market diplomatic credentials and a bleeding-edge wit, Brügger transforms himself into an outlandish caricature of a European-African consul. As he immerses himself in the life-threatening underworld of nefarious bureaucrats, Brügger encounters blood diamond smuggling, bribery, and even murder -- while somehow managing to crack amazing razor-sharp barbs at every step along the way. From each absurdly terrifying/hilarious situation to the next, The Ambassador is a one-of-a-kind excursion from the man whom The Huffington Post has called “the most provocative filmmaker in the world.”

Brügger, who experienced blood diamond smuggling, bribery and murder, said, ”I want to show an Africa stripped of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), Bono, child soldiers and kids with bloated bellies, to show the kind of people you never see in the documentaries: white businessmen and diplomats, the fat cats in the urban centers, all the people who are in post-colonial Francafrique (French Africa) having a great time. To show this Africa of the affluent I use “performative journalism” – instead of disguising as a fly on the wall observing neutrally, I dress for my part and interact as an agent provocateur. With all the intentions of a journalist to disclose an unnoticed world I went to Central African Republic as a rich white business man with diplomatic credentials pursuing all the perks that follows this title (reckless diamond hunt, practicing power misuse etc.), and became a respected member of their society.”

Drafthouse Films will release The Ambassador on VOD on August 4th, with a theatricl release in NYC, LA and Austin at the end fo August. Hey, somebody send me a copy of this!

By the way, if you join the Drafthouse Alliance you will get a copy of this movie as part of your subscription. Click here for info.