Magnolia Pictures has released the first trailer for the critically acclaimed documentary Cold Case Hammarskjöld, which remains one of the best-reviewed films of the year following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The film is hailed as a shocking, revelatory murder mystery as director/journalist Mads Brügger attempts to discover the truth behind the 1961 plane crash that killed United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld. The crash has long been deemed an assassination given that Hammarskjöld was at the time advocating for Congo’s independence, but Brügger’s investigation offers up new and monumental revelations.
I don’t really want to know more than that before seeing the film myself, and thankfully this trailer doesn’t give anything away. It offers a brief overview of its subject matter while also highlighting the humorous personality of Brügger, who seems like a delight. Peppered throughout are quotes from the high critical praise the movie has received thus far. The film won the Documentary Directing award at Sundance.
Check out the Cold Case Hammarskjöld trailer below. The film will be released in theaters on August 16th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Cold Case Hammarskjöld:
In 1961, United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and most of the crew. It’s understood that because Hammarskjöld was, at the time, advocating for Congo’s independence (against the wishes of European mining companies and other powerful entities), the “crash” was an assassination. With the case still unsolved 50-plus years later, Danish journalist, filmmaker, and provocateur Mads Brügger (The Red Chapel, The Ambassador) leads us down an investigative rabbit hole to unearth the truth. He, his Swedish private-investigator sidekick, and a host of co-conspirators tirelessly pursue a winding trail of clues, but they turn up more mysteries than revelations. Scores of false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews later, they begin to sniff out something more monumental than anything they’d initially imagined.
In his signature agitprop style, Brügger becomes both filmmaker and subject, challenging the very nature of truth by “performing” the role of truth seeker. As Brügger uncovers a critical secret that could send shockwaves around the world, we realize that sometimes absurdity and irony are the emboldening ingredients needed to confront what’s truly sinister.