The Ambassador | Chicago Reader

The Ambassador

93 minutes 2012

Danish troublemaker Mads Brugger—whose video The Red Chapel (2009) documented a politically fraught cultural exchange between Denmark and North Korea—embarks on an even more dangerous and revealing international expedition, this time to the Central African Republic. Making extensive use of hidden micro-cameras, Brugger records himself buying a diplomatic passport on the black market and posing as the Liberian ambassador to the CAR; his ostensible mission is to open a match factory that will employ local pygmies, but his real agenda is to show how blood diamonds can be smuggled out of the country with cash bribes (or, as he prefers to call them, "envelopes of happiness") to government officials. He returns with a jaw-dropping exposé of postcolonial corruption; he's lucky he returned with his head.

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