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Diplomatic Impunity: filmmaker's bluff lets him smuggle diamonds

Danish film director Mads Bruger in a scene from The Ambassador. He posed as an diplomat in order to document corruption in Liberia. Here he is appointed Liberia's ambassador by that country's Foreign Minster, Toga McIntosh. (Photo/Pressestil)

Our next guest is a documentary filmmaker who doesn't need to be told to think outside the box, because near as we can tell, he's hardly ever in it.

His name is Mads Brugger, and he has a new film showing at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto this week and next.

The Ambassador starts with an outrageous premise that never looks back.

It's Brugger commiting what he calls "performative journalism", buying diplomatic credentials from one African state to gain immunity he can use to smuggle diamonds from another.

Along the way he spills the stones all over the carpet. Bribes everything that moves.

Even plays recordings of whale calls for a pair of stoic pygmies.

A man in a box of his own.

But along the way, the Danish filmmaker reveals the cozy world of politics and diplomacy isn't as noble as it might have you believe. He joined us via Skype from Copernhagen to explain.

Listen to Rick's interview with Mads Brugger

In The Ambassador filmmaker Mads Brugger bugs, bribes and buys diplomatic credentials to expose larceny lurking beneath.

Here's an excerpt.

Listen here to the rest of this week's show.
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