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Cold Case Hammarskjöld DVD Review

Cold

“Cold Case Hammarskjöld” is a wild documentary.

At first, “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” seems to be a documentary in which its filmmaker (Mads Brügger) investigates the mysterious death of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, but that’s only part of the story. As the film unfolds, it becomes a story in which Mads lives out his own fantasy, but more than that, it becomes about an even larger and more disturbing story involving a man dressed in white named Keith Maxwell. I won’t say who Maxwell was and what he did, but the alleged revelations about him and his possible connection to Dag’s death are nothing short of being deeply unsettling.

As mentioned above, “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” is essentially 3 films in 1 and while that may sound messy from a narrative standpoint (and perhaps it is), it somehow makes the movie more compelling than it already is. Had this been a traditional documentary focused on the titular subject, it would have an engaging mystery doc in its own right (especially for true crime junkies and conspiracy theorists), but seeing how the film and its narrative morphs as the filmmaker’s investigation lingers on is what makes this a unique viewing experience. Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that as Mads and his acquaintance Goran dig deeper into the case by securing documents, interviewing witnesses, attempting to find plane debris, and discovering a strange organization, the plot thickens. Suddenly the question of whether Dag was murdered or in an accident becomes only a small piece of a larger puzzle. What makes it even more fascinating- it’s unclear just what is true and what is fiction. 

Another element that stands out here is with the director himself. While some may find that Mads Brügger injects himself a little too much into the story, it works in the context of the film as he narrates it all  (and has 2 secretaries dictating his narration) while also living out his own investigative dream.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? This is a very visual doc and, as such, the standard definition transfer impresses.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The audio is largely in English, but it is subtitled as a lot of accents can be thick here. It’s an adequate track.

Extras:
* Magnolia Pictures trailers
* 31 ½ minutes of deleted scenes

June 23, 2020 - Posted by | DVD review | , ,

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