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Hot Docs 2019 Film Review: “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” (2019) ★★★★★


Passenger aircrafts do get into mishaps due to pilot errors, engine issues, or whatever it might be. And it all can qualify as accidents. But the planes that carry official faces do not fall accidentally, they do not crash just like that, and their pilots rarely make mistakes. That means, if it does happen, it must be a deliberate attack to take the plane down.

In 1961, United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold’s plane crashes in Ndolo, leaving no proper reasons to justify it, killing Hammarskjold and most of the crew. Before the crash, the secretary-general was advocating for Congo, who wanted to improve the African nation’s life for better and its independence,  going against the wishes of European mining companies and other powerful entities that had different plans for Arica. Five decades and plus later, with the case that hasn’t been solved, Danish journalist, filmmaker, and provocateur, Mads Brügger, takes us on an incredibly fascinating journey which started as an investigation of the crash but turns into something entirely different that will leave you absolutely dumbfounded.

In “Cold Case Hammarskjöld”, as Brügger digs deep to uncover the truth, he learns about Keith Maxwell that ran the South African Institute for Maritime Research whose primarily goal was to spread AIDS through vaccines in Africa to kill off black people, and by 2000 it was expected that there will no black man left alive. With so many shocking revelations, Mads Brügger’s “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” is one of those documentaries which every single person must see. This is why, instead of giving away details of his discoveries, I will leave it up to you join him and follow his fascinating, thought-provoking investigation which I am sure will leave you shaken to the core afterwards.

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