Controversial Sundance Hit Innovates New Documentary Genre “Performative Journalism” with Hilarious & Shocking Results ……..AUSTIN, TX – Monday, July 9th 2011 – Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the world-famous Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced their acquisition of The Ambassador, a darkly comic, genre-bending documentary that exposes the corrupt business of selling diplomatic titles to exploit the lucrative and limited resources of war torn, third world nations. Filmmaker/journalist/
Financed by filmmaker Lars Von Trier’s production company Zentropa (Melancholia, Klown) to expose the violence, greed and corruption of foreign businessman in the Central African Republic, Brügger developed a new documentary style that he calls “performative journalism,” in which he creates an absurd caricature of a corrupt diplomat and arms himself with a phalanx of hidden cameras, black-market credentials and razor-sharp wit. It’s part performance art, part investigative journalism, producing humor, shocking revelations and above all a tragic picture of a failed and corrupt state.
Brügger, who experienced blood diamond smuggling, bribery and murder, said, ”I want to show an Africa stripped of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), 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 Francafrique (French Africa) having a great time. To show this Africa of the affluent I use “performative journalism” – instead of disguising as a fly on the wall observing neutrally, I dress for my part and interact as an agent provocateur. With all the intentions of a journalist to disclose an unnoticed world I went to Central African Republic as a rich white business man with diplomatic credentials pursuing all the perks that follows this title (reckless diamond hunt, practicing power misuse etc.), and became a respected member of their society.”
“The Ambassador is the kind of exciting and provocative work from a fearless visionary that is an exact DNA match for our brand,” says Drafthouse Films Director of Acquisitions Evan Husney, “and from his jaw-dropping stunts in Northern Korea as seen in Red Chapel to the hostile blood diamond mines in central Africa, Brügger is this generation’s foremost gonzo journalist.”
The deal was negotiated by James Emanuel Shapiro of Drafthouse Films and Susan Wendt of Trustnordisk on behalf of the film’s producers at Zentropa.
See what people are saying about The Ambassador:
“There’s Unlikely To Be A Ballsier Film This Year!” (GQ)
“Shockingly Entertaining!” (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Brügger is sort of the VICE Magazine Version of Sasha Baron Cohen as Financed by Lars Von Trier.” (The Village Voice)
“Engaging & Exciting!” (NY Magazine’s Vulture)