Fifth about The Seventh

The Dissident

The Dissident: Bryan Fogel, in his documentary, tells the story of Jamal Khashoggi, one of the most famous murdered journalists (but far from the only one), killed for criticizing those in power. The story of his killing, however, is so well known that the few morsels of new information come across as mere details and not particularly revelatory. The film adds, as a sidebar, the journey of another anti-Saudi establishment activist; it is engaging on its own and connected to the main thread in more ways than one, but it’s hard to shake the feeling it steals some of the focus. Nevertheless, the director presents a thesis for the murder alongside a portrait of Khashoggi, and the whole is very well put together by the editing team (Scott D. Hanson, James Leche, Wyatt Rogowski, Avner Shiloah), which creates a thrilling narrative that goes on a crescendo even if the result is a fait accompli. The interviews are elegantly shot, and the relevant information (photos, messages, documents) is efficiently displayed, all accompanied by Adam Peters’ techno-thriller musical score.

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