Whanganui Midweek - 2021-07-21


Doco reveals the need for free speech

Rep Talk

The U3A Cinema Group’s July screening is The Dissident (119 mins), directed by Bryan Fogel. The film is a powerful documentary exposing the murder of a fearless journalist who made some people in powerful positions feel uncomfortable. Everyone knows that the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was lured into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul — where Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile — and within 20 minutes had been brutally murdered. Everyone knows, because the Saudi killers made no effort to cover their tracks, so confident were they that they could walk free and return to Saudi Arabia, allegedly with the blessing of the Crown Prince. Director Bryan Fogel researched this documentary as thoroughly as he did for Icarus, in which Russian doping practices in the last Olympics were laid bare. His work reveals a host of alarming information. Nick Allen, in his IMDb review, says: “The revelations that Fogel finds throughout prove the vitality of free speech and why democracy always needs the outspoken voices of people like Khashoggi, and also Fogel”. It is timely for us to think upon such things given the restrictions on hate speech our government is planning. Graeme Tuckett regards The Dissident as “a dispiriting and infuriating film to watch. And yet, it is also a compelling, engrossing and important document that simply needs to be seen”. The Dissident screens at Embassy 3 at 10.30am on Wednesday, July 28. All welcome. Bring a friend. Wheelchair access.


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