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Mads Brügger

Danish filmmaker and journalist who posed undercover as a Liberian diplomat in the “The Ambassador”

Sub-Saharan Africa
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 MBrgger

Known for his unorthodox and comedic approach, Danish journalist and filmmaker Mads Brügger has worked in radio and hosted several shows,including “Den 11. Time” on Danish television channel DR2. In 2006, Brügger directed and starred in ;“The Red Chapel,” a documentary about a fictitious theatre group traveling through North Korea. The movie won the 2010 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition. In 2011, Brügger posed asa diplomat with Liberian credentials in The Ambassador. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Brügger employs an unconventional approach to journalism and pushes boundaries to expose corruption and human rights violations, often in countries where the traditional rules of investigative journalism are not always applicable. According to Brügger, “The point of journalism and documentary films is to shine light on something you don’t normally get to see, and to expose hypocrisy and abuse of power in the higher echelons of society.” In The Ambassador, Brüggeremployed what some sources call “performative journalism.” He purchased the identity of Mr. Cortzen, a Liberian ambassador, on the black market and worked with a blood diamond-mining kingpin in the Central African Republic. The film demonstrated how easy it is to exploit the country’s citizens and smuggle diamonds using diplomatic credentials. The Liberian government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,exposed as corrupt, attempted to extradite and prosecute Brügger in early 2012 for fraud after the film’s release, but the Danish government would not comply with the request. In addition to his work in film, Brüggerco-founded and edited VIRUS, an investigative journalism magazine, and Döner, the first Danish magazine for second-generation Muslim immigrant boys. Brügger is currently the channel manager at ;Radio 24/7.

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