Earlier this month Drafthouse Films' latest release, the controversial Sundance 2012 doc The Ambassador, hit VOD platforms and iTunes. And now Mads Brügger's fearless exercise in "performance journalism" debuts theatrically today in NYC at the IFC Center, and will open this Friday at The Cinefamily in Los Angles, The Roxie in San Francisco and of course The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Brügger, whom The Huffington Post proclaims is "the most provocative filmmaker in the world," will be present for Q&As tonight at tomorrow at the 8:20pm screenings in NYC and the screenings this Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles.
The Ambassador follows gonzo journalist-turned-filmmaker Brügger as he acquires black market diplomatic credentials to harvest blood diamonds and smuggle them out of The Central African Republic while exposing the nefarious process practiced for decades by dishonest bureaucrats. The film has been making controversial headlines in Africa as the country of Liberia wants him extradited for his bold exploits.
Several reviews and fascinating interviews chronicling Brügger's process of transformation have hit this week leading up to its theatrical premiere. VICE Magazine calls the film a "an engrossing and appalling and darkly hilarious film," in a revealing interview with the director. Karina Longworth for The Village Voice says The Ambassador is the "Euro film-festival equivalent of Sacha Baron Cohen, when Cohen was interesting—gives what has to be one of the riskiest and most committed performances of the year." "Beneath the nihilism and the practical jokes," Andrew O'heir of Salon.com says, "there’s also an undeniable sense of purpose."