I’ve yet to see this yet, but reviews I’ve read since its Sundance Film Festival debut earlier this year, have been decidedly mixed.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Drafthouse Films acquired USA rights to The Ambassador, with plans to release the film on VOD and digital platforms on August 4, to be followed by a theatrical release at the IFC Center in NYC on August 29, as then at The Cinefamily in L.A. and Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, on August 31.
Based on reviews I’ve read of it, it’ll likely offend some, while others feel it informs and educates, and others feel both.
I’m not familiar with director Mads Brügger’s past work, so I don’t have a handle on his motivations (his last work, The Red Chapel, about 2 Danish comics, one of them a spastic and both born in Korea, who join the director on a trip to North Korea, where they have been allowed access under the pretext of wanting to perform a vaudeville act, won the World Dramatic Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010; anyone see it?). But I’d be interested in checking out his latest work for myself.
Here’s how it’s described:
AThis darkly comic, genre-bending piece of journalism from international provocateur Mads Brugger 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-marked diplomatic credentials and a bleeding-edge wit, Bruegger transforms himself into an outlandish caricature of a European-African Consul. As he immerses himself in the life-threatening underworld of nefarious bureaucrats, Bruegger encounters blood diamond smuggling, bribery, and even murder–while somehow managing to crack amazing razor-sharp barbs at every steps 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 called “the most provocative filmmaker in the world.”
I’m in… but with some trepidation… “Welcome to the bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow and diamond hustlers and corrupt politicians run free.“
A brand-new theatrical release trailer has been released, as well as a new poster; both follow: