The Dissident

Documentary | Arabic, Turkish, English with English subtitles | 119 minutes

Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian journalist in the 1980s with easy access to members of its Royal Family.  He started to receive threats as he became more critical of the government, particularly with the ascent of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Determined to write freely  and openly about his country, Jamal moved to the U.S. and became a journalist for the Washington Post. He also fell in love with  36-year-old  Turkish scholar, Hatice Cenzig and they became engaged.  Having divorced his previous wife, Jamal went to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to obtain necessary documents needed for his upcoming marriage. Hatice waited for Jamal outside the consulate all day but he never came out. The Turkish government launched an investigation and  strongly suggested  the Saudi Royal Family ordered Khashoggi’s assassination. The trial was held in Saudi Arabia. Eventually, eleven men were tried: three were acquitted, three receiving prison terms, and five were executed. U.N. special rapporteur Agnes Callamard called the verdict a “mockery” because “the masterminds not only walked free, they were barely touched by the investigation.” The Turkish government said the trials fell far short of “justice being done and accountability.”   
Primary Participants:
Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabian journalist and activist) / Omar Abdulaziz (Saudi activist) / Hatice Cengiz (Khashoggi’s fiancée) / Agnes Callamard (U.N. rapporteur)
Why Stream This Documentary?

A tragic, true story that unfolds like a political thriller. As Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, “I love the name of honor more than I fear death.”  So goest with Jamal Khashoggi.

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
  • Metacritic Score: 81
  • 75th Venice Film Festival, Winner, Golden Lion
  • Ten Academy Award Nominations. Winner: Best Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematographer (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York
  • Best Film of 2018: Time Magazine and The New York Film Critics Circle
Bryan Fogel’s documentary THE DISSIDENT feels essential. This is a somber piece of work; it’s not likely to cheer anyone up. But if the details of the Khashoggi case aren’t for the faint of heart, facing the facts squarely is at least somewhat cleansing. And the story of a man who put his life on the line for his ideals, it’s as bracing a narrative as any novelist could invent.
Stephanie Zacharek

TIME Magazine

As comprehensive and sobering an account of the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi as one could want is offered up in THE DISSIDENT. This is a documentary both tragic and poignant.
Todd McCarthy,

The Hollywood Reporter

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