Fidelis Cloer is a self-confessed war profiteer. In a career spanning two decades of global turmoil, he has supplied kings, presidents and the odd dictator or two with the finest luxury armored vehicles that money can buy. In his world, where security is a commodity that can be bought and sold, violence is to sales as the weather is to wheat futures.
Always with an on eye on growth opportunities, Fidelis found The Perfect War when the US invaded Iraq: it wasn’t about selling a dozen cars, or even a hundred, it was a thousand car war where security would become the ultimate product. Driving into Baghdad after it fell to American troops, he remarked, “This is the end of the beginning of the war,” and so began his darkly comedic drive down the road to opportunity.
Before the war, when clients were concerned with bullets and not bombs, his sales mantra was “I sell a good feeling”: a sense of safety, security and confidence in superior German engineering that came across like a VW commercial gone wrong. But come 2004, and the threat of armor defeating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), survivability became his sales pitch and he quickly found himself engaged in a pathological arms race with insurgents who upped their explosive ante to defeat his increasingly higher (and more expensive) levels of armor.
In war, as in life, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
2008 World Premiere: SXSW
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam