Hot Docs 2014: The Notorious Mr. Bout (2014)

Posted by Brandy Dean April 18, 2014 0 Comment 4017 views

When alleged international arms dealer Viktor Bout was arrested in 2008, the media had a field day. Called a “merchant of death” and fictionalized by Nic Cage in Lord of War, Bout made fantastic headlines, especially in a terrorist-sensitize post-9/11 climate. But Bout claims he’s just a business man. In The Notorious Mr. Bout, filmmakers¬†Tony Gerber (Full Battle Rattle) and Maxim Pozdorovkin (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer), demonstrate that the truth about Bout is way more complicated than news reports alleged.

Cheeky, jazzy, and pretty subversive, The Notorious Mr. Bout is chiefly sourced from Viktor Bout himself. Turns out he was neither just a businessman or just an arms dealer – he was an aspiring documentarian. His work in cargo shipping naturally took him all over the world and Bout took his camcorder with him, documenting everything from zebras on the African plains to rebel training sessions. Gerber and¬†Pozdorovkin have been given unfettered access to Bout’s home videos and his family and colleagues to compile this portrait.

Spoiler alert: Bout definitely delivered arms into the hands of shady characters, with not a care about what those arms would be used for. Second spoiler alert: he probably didn’t do anything illegal. As one observer notes, he might have overstepped some moral bounds, but it was all legal. As much an examination of international laws regarding the arms trade as a character study of Viktor Bout, The Notorious Mr. Bout is also incredibly funny and entertaining. Go figure.

Screening Times for the Notorious Mr. Bout

TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Sat, Apr 26 7:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Sun, Apr 27 1:45 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Sun, May 4 7:00 PM

Watch The Notorious Mr. Bout Trailer


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About Brandy Dean

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films.

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