‘The Notorious Mr. Bout’ portrays alternate view of infamous arms dealer

The Notorious Mr. Bout portrays alternate view of infamous arms dealer

Brett Stover

The Notorious Mr. Bout, directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin, revolves around the man commonly known as the “Merchant of Death:” Viktor Bout.
However, unlike the common narrative surrounding Bout and his work in the arms trade, the film portrays its subject as unwittingly caught in the business. Beginning with Russia’s transition from communism to capitalism, it shows Bout’s growth from small-time cargo plane owner to high-profile arms dealer whose escapades resulted in a 25-year sentence in federal prison and the Nicolas Cage movie Lord of War.
While a career spanning two decades would often be difficult to form a solid documentary about, Gerber and Pozdorovkin manage it largely because of a quirk in Bout’s personality – his obsession with home movies. As is evident in TNMB, Bout filmed much of his life, both personal and professional. Even included in the massive archives of his life is documentation of Bout’s personal involvement in the arms trade, further proving the film’s obvious assertion that Bout was largely naive regarding his business dealings, as a self-aware criminals would never document his shadier dealings.
Also included in the documentary are interviews with Bout’s wife, journalists, lawyers and the federal agents who assisted in his arrest – but was that arrest legitimate or was it a
Overall, The Notorious Mr. Bout weaves a unique tale about a unique man, prompting the viewer to question the validity of Bout’s arrest and conviction. The film will show for its final time at True/False 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, March 2, at the Picturehouse Theater.
By Brett Stover