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Summary: What happens when a very white European man buys a diplomatic title which turns him into an African diplomat overnight – right in the middle of one of Central Africa's most failed nations? »The Ambassador« is a genre-breaking and tragic comedy about the bizarre and hidden world of African diplomacy, where gin and tonics flow on a daily basis and diamond hustlers and corrupt politicians run free. (The Danish Film Institute)
After his jaunt to North Korea in THE RED CHAPEL, Mads Brugger goes way, way farther here: obtaining fake diplomatic credentials from incredibly shady sources, posing as a Liberian envoy to the Central African Republic who seeks to open up a match factory, making deals with a blood diamond dealer--and that's not the whole story. Often hilarious (Brugger in jodhpurs dancing with a group of drunken Pygmies), tragic, frightening, and never less than gripping. Sacha Baron Cohen, eat your heart out.
Agreeing to fund this film is like the CIA agreeing to pay the Cartel for a couple kilo's of coke a few times before the big sting. Yes, you can say Brugger has balls, which is he does. But he had a plan, that worked. That has worked 2500 times previously. With his live satire, he experiences first hand why Africa is currently a doomed continent. Even when his criminal plan seemed to fall apart, it was because the CAR's corruption appeared to swallow him whole. The whale sequence was grand.
I was pleased with setup, mainly, it's so far out it somehow becomes unbelievable. But it's real, and Brügger is a testament to that. A very believable performance. I particularly enjoyed his many speeches.
Visual proof that money can buy you anything, and that democracy, law and order still has a long way to go in Africa - well, we kinda knew that already. But, more importantly, Brügger depicts and describes the people involved as well as their methods in a thorough, deeply fascinating and original way, equally balancing moments of tragical horror with first class black humour.
It's not a bad documentary, but it's messy and without a clear ambition or destination. Which becomes extremely clear during the unsatisfactory last 10 minutes. Visually, I think Winthereik has added a special something to the film, and of course Brügger has that special humor and nerve that he's known for in Denmark.