30,000 kidnappings are committed every year in the world. The vast majority of these result from purely heinous motives, only 1% involve political or terrorist origins. The Ransom offers a journey into the heart of the secret world of kidnap & ransom, with insurance policies, invented in the early phases of globalization, and currently experiencing an unprecedented boom.
In Venezuela, the country that holds the world record for the number of kidnappings, a former policeman turned private agent is working on the kidnapping of an entrepreneur’s son in Caracas. Hostage negotiator, he is responsible for bringing Kenny back to his family alive. Common thread, this emblematic case is filmed live in its main stages up until its resolution.
In parallel, The Ransom explores a vast network of insurance companies and private security companies that is spreading around the world, from the United States to the Ivory Coast, passing through Lebanon and Denmark with characters such as: an insurer that offers customized contracts and even plans to reimburse expenses caused by a severed finger, a former FBI negotiator who organizes a private and borderless police force and dispatches emissaries in hot spots, a French adventurer who surveys Africa in attempt to prevent risks ...
And at the heart of the film, the testimony of a former hostage, abducted in Lebanon near the Syrian border, who was present at all the negotiations for his release, crossed with that of his negotiator,a former member of the Danish army’s intelligence services, expert on sensitive cases.
By following a few central characters in this interconnected world - often expressing themselves for the first time – The Ransom questions the price of one man’s life and reveals the impact of this vast global organization on countries with a heightened risk of kidnapping such as Venezuela or Somalia. By emphasizing prevention and increasing protection devices, aren’t we just increasing the vulnerability of those who don’t have the means to protect themselves?
Festivals & Awards
Selected in the category "National Documentary" & competing for "Audience Award"