While Sacha Baron Cohen has gone into character for films like “Borat” and “Bruno” to deliver laughs along with a sharp look at America’s social and cultural hang-ups and curiosities, in the provocative documentary “The Ambassador,” filmmaker Mads Brügger takes things one step further.
Produced by Lars Von Trier‘s Zentropa, the documentary finds Brügger evolving a new style of moviemaking called “performative journalism,” and posing as a businessman designing a matchbook factory, he heads to the Central African Republic, shooting the various meetings and encounters he has in order to shed a light on the greed, violence and corruption in the area. “I want to show an Africa stripped of NGOs, 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 French Africa having a great time,” Brügger said.
Making its way around the festival circuit this year, we caught up with the film at the New Directors/New Films program in New York City and called it a “delicious moral maze.” It will certainly be unlike any other documentary you see this year. Drafthouse Films will release the film on August 29th in New York City, August 31st in Los Angeles and Austin, with more cities to follow. Until then, take a look at the exclusive poster for the film below.