Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Dissident

The Dissident examines events surrounding the government-sanctioned murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist and dissident living in Turkey and working for The Washington Post who entered the Sauadi Embassy one day and never emerged. Director Bryan Fogel provides a compelling narrative, outlining Khashoggi's work as a state-run journalist in his home country before being pressured to leave his family and start a new life abroad. In examining Saudi Arabia targeting Khashoggi, and other dissidents, the film explores frightening levels Big Brother technology. The film also, not so subtly, points out how Donald Trump, ignoring facts brought to light and sanctions from his own Congress, chose to turn a blind eye to the shocking events.

Fogel's presentation isn't without some curious choices starting with a bombastic score better suited to a thriller, or Christopher Nolan film, and some narrative choices which rearrange events out of order (such as Khashoggi's short-run television program). Such jarring choices undercut the natural tension of events which are shocking enough without the need of additional help.

No comments: