Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Is everything African for sale? Brügger's THE AMBASSADOR makes you wonder....
THE AMBASSADOR from Danish provocateur Mads Brügger. With enough shaky hand-held camerawork to drive you up the wall and no particular visual acumen in terms of what or how to shoot, the movie looks drab, even when it's observing some nice scenery. This, however, is as nothing compared to the film's story and subject: the "purchasing" of ambassadorships, together with the food-chain low-lifes who make this happen -- both inside and outside of the Central African Republic (CAR) and its environs, where much of the movie takes place.
Ellen Johnson) is "away," then "can't sign," then "won't sign," then silence. There are all sorts of other questions, too, some coming from those involved in this process, some from "our" guy as "Ambassador," and some from our guy as film director. One early question is where is the money coming from for all these bribes Brügger/Cortzen must put out? The press material tells that Lars von Trier's Zentropa production company financed all this, but I don't recall being told that in the movie (I might have missed that moment, however).
A l'origine (click and scroll down). But, no. That real-life character/con-man turned out to be more interested in the welfare of his townspeople than is our Mr. Brügger/Cortzen.
Drafthouse Films, The Ambassador, with a running time of 93 minutes, arrives Wednesday, August 29, in New York City at the IFC Center. In the weeks to follow it will play in several other cities around the country. Click here to see all currently-scheduled playdates.