Liberian government to take legal action against doc director Mads Brugger
Action centres around Brügger allegedly using a fake diplomat title in documentary The Ambassador.
The Government of Liberia will take legal action against Danish director Mads Brügger (Cortzen), because he allegedly used a fake diplomatic title – Consul General and Ambassador-At-Large accredited to the Central African Republic – when filming his award-winning documentary, The Ambassador (2011).
“Mr. Cortzen admits that he fraudulently purchased a Liberian diplomatic position and passport for $150,000 through a network that advertises and unauthorisedly sells diplomatic positions of struggling countries,” said the Liberian Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, in an official press release.
“Shocked at Mr Cortzen, an admitted fraudster,” the Government has launched a full-scale investigation into how he breached the system, and will institute legal action, “seeking the appropriate explanations and redress from the Central African Republic amd Denmark through diplomatic channels.”
In The Ambassador, which won a Danish Robert Award for Best Full-Length Documentary, and was internationally launched at the Sundance Film Festival in the US, Brügger travels on the diplomatic passport to the former French colony under the guise of opening a factory for matches made by Pygmies.
No one he meets in the film has any doubt that what he is really after is diamonds, but ultimately he was a Danish filmmaker who would show Africa from a new angle – “I wanted to make a documentary that took Africa back to Graham Greene and The Wild Geese, Africa of the 1970s, a film that had funny moments amidst all the horror.”
“It looks as if my life as a Liberian diplomat has come to an end,” writes Brügger on Facebook, adding he was not planning to spend his next holiday in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, anyway. The film’s producers, Peter Engel and Carsten Holst, of Zentropa Entertainments documentary section, Real, were equally calm.
“I have a receipt from the Liberian Foreign Ministry for the title I bought for Brügger – the guy who provided the passport had sold another three on that day,” Engel told local press, undisturbed that the action was considered “not only immoral, but criminal and offensive to the government and people of Liberia.”