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Cold Case Hammarskjöld

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Denmark, Norway, Sweden · 2019
2h 9m
Director Mads Brügger
Starring Mads Brügger, Clarinah Mfengu, Saphir Wenzi Mabanza, Göran Björkdahl
Genre Documentary, History

Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As their investigation comes to a head, they discover a crime far worse than killing the secretary general of the United Nations in this horrifying and engrossing documentary.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

For novices, the film will serve as a lively, if annoying, introduction to the Hammarskjöld mystery, yet there’s a sadness here. The more we are encouraged to puzzle over the darkness of his death, the less heed will be paid to his illuminating life.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The film is about a mystery that isn’t solved, and how that inconclusiveness spotlights the insidious functions of society.


The Hollywood Reporter by Dan Fienberg

It's definitely Brugger's most satisfyingly unsatisfying effort. A conspiracy-fueled murder mystery with some hilarious meta-commentary on the genre, Cold Case Hammarskjold 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.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by David Edelstein

If, like so many conspiracy-mongers, Brügger is in this to make his name, whatever the social consequences, his comeuppance should be swift. But I want to believe that this isn’t a stunt and that his first-person meta nonsense — his desire to call attention to his floundering — is a sign of honesty, not obscurantism.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

If Cold Case Hammarskjöld resolves as Brügger’s most rewarding film, it appears to reach that point almost by accident. His usual methods achieve most unusual results, as he digs into the facts with the wry amusement of someone who doesn’t expect to find anything.


Screen Daily by Jonathan Romney

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.


The Playlist by Jordan Ruimy

Brügger’s movie plays mostly like a real-time thriller, to be honest, but whatever hybrid of non-fiction you want to categorize Cold Case Hammarskjöld, it’s nothing short of groundbreaking.


Variety by Owen Gleiberman

Cold Case Hammarskjöld doesn’t offer the last word about the issues it raises. But it’s a movie that should be seen, grappled with, argued with, and experienced, because the questions it plants in us are dark enough to reverberate as powerfully as answers.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

In the end, perhaps it is less important that Cold Case Hammarskjöld finds or doesn’t find its “smoking gun,” or that it makes or doesn’t make its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

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