It had always been in my plan to watch The Dissident (directed by: Bryan Fogel) about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi but I have to admit when I heard about it’s trouble finding distribution, that Netflix (among others) wouldn’t touch it I was even more set on it.
For the $20 is was still more than worth a rental.
Khashoggi of course was the reporter who walked into the Saudi Embassy in Turkey and was brutally murdered (I’ll spare you the details here but warn you it was gruesome and the documentary does go into it…)
Like a lot of people I was aware of the case and knew some of the details (including the truly terrible response of my countries former President). The documentary lays out the case against the Prince (damning) but also things I wasn’t aware of like the people who fought for the investigation and who still fight for the truth to come out and justice even if that seems impossible.
There’s also parts about why in the end the Prince might have decided to do this and a large part, a terrifying part actually, about the use of social media and malicious spyware to monitor and control and in the end do far worse to people.
I am someone who looks at social media from my cushy Western life with a very poor gaze most of the time. So the fact that for a lot of people it’s a path to freedom and knowledge and even revolution I do recognize as well. Yet even there it’s scales seem to tip to those in power more than it should and it seems more and more like it’s always fucking Twitter these days- though there are people who are learning, who are trying to get around the powerful…
Anyway it’s a very eye-opening well made documentary the kind that any studio with balls would have picked up in a heartbeat for a fortune if they didn’t care more about appeasing Saudi Arabia.
It is available on Apple and Amazon and all those sites (and I’ve seen a few people unfairly give credit to Apple) but no, it’s PVOD on all of them but it’s worth the twenty bucks if you can to give it a look. And if not definitely check it out when you can!