The Ambassador (2011 film)

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The Ambassador
The Ambassador (2011) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMads Brügger
Produced byPeter Aalbæk Jensen
Peter Garde
StarringMads Brügger
CinematographyJohan Stahl Winthereik
Distributed byDrafthouse Films
Release date
  • October 5, 2011 (2011-10-05)
Running time
93 minutes
Box office$28,102 (US)

The Ambassador is a 2011 Danish documentary film created and directed by Danish filmmaker and journalist Mads Brügger. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.[1]


Mads Brügger goes undercover as the Liberian diplomat and businessman Mr. Cortzen, impersonating a fake version of himself, with the object of building a match factory in the Central African Republic; in reality he is uncovering corruption linked to diplomatic title brokerage and blood diamonds.


As a result of the film's controversial themes, the Liberian government threatened legal action against Brügger.[2] The Dutch businessman Willem Tijssen, who according to the movie brokered the diplomatic title, unsuccessfully filed an injunction to stop screening of the film at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.[3] According to Danish media, Willem Tijssen is pursuing legal actions in Denmark, for having been filmed with a hidden camera.[4]


The film was well received by critics and currently holds a 76% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with Kyle Smith of the New York Post calling it, "a stunning, funny, and vital piece of guerilla cinema."[5]

Karsten Kastelan of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "It is highly watchable, clearly (and unabashedly) exploitative and often offensive – but it undeniably unearths some very uncomfortable truths about Central Africa in general, corruption in particular and individual greed on top of it. And – even though the director denies it – it might have been financed in part with the sale of blood diamonds."[6]


  1. ^ IMDb - The Ambassador - Awards. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Olsen, Mark (August 29, 2012). "Acting as African envoy all in day's work for director". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Dutch businessman tries to stop screening of festival film". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. November 11, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Erlendsson, Kirsten (January 5, 2012). "Mads Brügger-film ender i retten". BT. Retrieved January 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Smith, Kyle (August 30, 2012). "Doc does diamonds & diplomats decidedly well". New York Post. Retrieved January 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "The Ambassador: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-01-28.

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