New to VOD via Microsoft this week:
THE ARMS DROP
DOXBIO (Denmark, 2014)
IDFA, Göteborg, DocPoint, CPH:DOX, ZagrebDox, Hot Docs, Docs Against Gravity, Reykjavik
Two men become caught up in a dangerous arms deal.
In December 1995, a cache of weapons were dropped from a Latvian plane over West Bengal, supposedly meant for monks and nuns plotting to overthrow the state’s communist government. Onboard were Niels Holck, a Danish development worker, and Peter Bleach, a British mercenary arms dealer with ties to MI5. Holck claimed that he was working with the support of the Indian government, while Bleach countered that he was setting Holck up to be arrested. But after Holck managed to escape, Bleach found himself behind bars in India instead. Fifteen years later, Holck, safely in Denmark, faces extradition, reopening this labyrinthine case and questioning what really happened, and how the Indian, Danish, and British governments were involved. Koefoed unfortunately heavily relies on clunky re-enactments for a large portion of his film, but then abruptly drops them, making for uneven storytelling which muddies an already overly complicated and contested narrative.