Documentary – Denmark / UK Premiere
Mads Brügger / Denmark / 2011 / 93 mins
Dubbed as Denmark’s answer to Sacha Baron Cohen, documentarist and satirist Mads Brügger is in the Central African Republic to buy himself diplomatic immunity and set himself up with a nice little blood diamond business. Impersonating a cold, arrogant racist, Brügger pays his way into the country’s political elite, exposing a worryingly high number of corrupt officials, including those from the UK and Europe.
Anyone expecting anything resembling Baron Cohen’s over-the-top tomfoolery will be sadly disappointed; Brügger is much subtler, going undercover to act a role rather than playing up as a caricature. But the result is an incredibly disturbing and bravely executed insight into the dangerous world of high-level corruption and blood diamonds. Indeed, the level of corruption is like a minefield, with everyone lying to each other yet somehow all in cahoots together, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, becomes confusing as the film progresses. Given the undercover nature of the film, those involved seem surprisingly happy to be filmed, which means the overall picture and sound quality is far superior to many others of the genre. This is an astonishingly complex and revealing piece of investigative journalism, and the risk Brügger took by going into the lion’s den and exposing the true nature of so-called ‘diplomacy’ in the Central African Republic is highly commendable.
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