Drafthouse Films' latest project THE AMBASSADOR, in which provocative filmmaker Mads Brügger secures diplomatic credentials in order to expose blood diamond corruption within the Liberian government, has Liberian officials hopping mad. From a blog on THE ECONOMIST today:
What has sent the Liberian press into a frenzy is that the charlatan depicted handing out stuffed “envelopes of happiness”, dancing with inebriated pygmies, and visiting militia-run diamond mines, was in fact an official diplomatic representative of Liberia. A Dutch “diplomatic broker”, Liberia's top corporate lawyer (who is also chairman of the ruling Unity Party), and around $185,000, facilitated Mr Brügger’s appointment as Liberian Honorary Consul and Ambassador-at-Large. His credentials were signed by President Johnson Sirleaf herself.
Liberia’s government, which has been trying to coax back investors while maintaining donor support, is not amused. The ministry of information expressed “grave consternation”, and promised to sue the “admitted fraudster”. Mrs Johnson Sirleaf vowed to seek extradition, although it is unclear what the charges would be.Mr Brügger probably needn't lose any sleep. His most serious crime appears to have been to make the government look silly. But the episode is an interesting illustration of a country stuck between a dark past and a bright future.
Read the full article here!