Before being arrested by the FBI in a sting operation in Thailand in 2008, Viktor Bout claimed to be a Russian entrepreneur and family man with interests in global cultures and filmmaking. U.S. prosecutors believed his interests were of a different nature, namely weapons trafficking. They portrayed him as a super villain, leading to a Hollywood film based on his life, Lord of War that starred Nicolas Cage. The world was thought to be a safer place after his apprehension, but this story of Bout — who loved to film his adventures and provided much of the footage used in the film — shows a man who saw an opportunity and seized it. The facile Hollywood plot wants us to stare into the face of Bout and see pure evil; the documentary version illustrates that this man’s story consists of many subtle shades of grey.
- Maxim Pozdorovkin Tony Gerber
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