Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
On September 18, 1961, UN Secretary-General Dag Dag Hammarskjöld died in a mysterious plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) while en route to negotiate a ceasefire during the Congo Crisis. Last seen attempting to smuggle blood diamonds in The Ambassador (NZIFF12), Danish provocateur Mads Brügger reopens the case after 50 years of conjecture and speculation about what really happened.
Was Hammarskjöld assassinated because of his outspoken advocacy for African self-determinism? With the assistance of Swedish investigator Göran Björkdahl, Brügger sets out to investigate in his inimitable style. Criss-crossing the continent on a search for the meagre scraps of truth, Brügger instead uncovers a murky conspiracy more chilling than anyone could have imagined.
“Brugger’s latest documentary… may be his most difficult film to categorize, and his most accessible… A conspiracy-fueled murder mystery with some hilarious meta-commentary on the genre, Cold Case Hammarskjöld is either a stunning piece of investigative reporting that builds to a revelatory climax or a wily trickster’s dark critique of the audience's desperate need for answers.” — Daniel Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter
“Cold Case Hammarskjöld unearths such a tissue of lies and prevarications that arguably it is only by offering this heady cocktail of fact, fictionalising and conjecture that some perspective on truth can be achieved… However sceptical you feel about Brügger’s approach, and his findings, this is an arresting, troubling work – and, for all the horror, an intensely entertaining one too.” — Jonathan Romney, Screendaily