If you keep even half an eye on the international news I would imagine that
you’ll have heard of Jamal Khashoggi. A Saudi Arabian citizen and
journalist with the New York Post, Khashoggi disappeared after visiting the
Saudi Embassy in Istanbul on the 2nd October 2018.
Narrated by Khashoggi’s fiancé Hatice Cengiz, Turkish Police, Prosecutors
and those that knew him best, The Dissident, from Academy Award-winning
director Bryan Fogel (Icarus), in absorbing forensic detail, reveals the
reason behind Khashoggi’s disappearance.
I don’t think that it’s a spoiler to say that the evidence in the Turkish
enquiry points fairly conclusively to the fact that Khashoggi was murdered,
probably on the orders or at least with the knowledge of the Saudi Arabian
ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The reason for his brutal murder,
the murder being laid bare in graphic detail in transcripts of a recording
made at the time, is that Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of Mohammed bin
Salman and his government. Through both his column in the Washington Post
and most crucially through his social media posts on Twitter Khashoggi was
becoming a problem for the Saudis.
Scary in its detail as to what extent foreign governments can and will go
to either spy on their citizens or force propaganda on them via social
media, The Dissident is more thrilling that any script someone could have
dreamt up for a Hollywood blockbuster.
Fogel’s documentary is a masterclass in how to tell a story. The first half
plays like an episode of BBC’s Panorama and watching it you might say to
yourself “I’ve seen this in the news tell me something I don’t know”
however just when you think you’ve seen it all before Fogel, in the second
half, hits the audience with the part of the story that’s nothing short of
The one thing that Jamal Khashoggi’s death proves is that if a corrupt
government wants to silence someone then there’s not a lot anyone or any
country can do about it.
Astonishing, eye opening and highly recommended.