It’s a cliché, but “more than you bargained for” documentaries are typically the best ones. Those films that feature a filmmaker on an odyssey quest for one piece of truth, but discovers something richer and more profound along the journey. Such is the case with what Mads Brügger‘s astonishing “Cold Case Hammarskjöld,” about an investigation into a mysterious murder that strikes a vein and the blood of discovery comes gushing. What begins as a look into a plane crash, and the consequent death of United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld in the early 1960s, quickly turns into something much more transfixing: the confirmation of a conspiracy theory that has existed for more than five decades.
After a brief rundown into the enigmatic circumstances of a plane crash Africa, in 1961, killing Hammarskjöld and everyone on board, the doc quickly makes its case. Brügger, in his extensive research, finds enough evidence to suggest the crash was really just an assassination and he lays out a convincing claim. Talking heads, insinuate (some “confirm”) that because Hammarskjöld was a major advocate for the independence of Congo, among many other colonialized countries, he posed a threat to the global order, including European mining companies, which couldn’t afford for the African nation to be independent.
Witnesses - Crash - Assert - Plane - Heard
Most of the witnesses of the crash assert that they saw a second plane and heard gunfire followed by the plane going down and this intel is corroborated by a former top NSA official who adds more damning evidence. Even creepier, a photograph of Hammarskjöld’s body at the crash site shows an ace of spades card slyly tucked into his collar, an apparent “mark of territory” used by British and American intelligence agencies.
Any other film and it’s resounding success, case solved, c’est fini. However, what comes next is a haunting...
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