A gripping tale of the daring death of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother

The documentary Assassins released in India the same week as No time to die the new James Bond film. Assassins focuses on a mode of shipping that rivals, if not eclipses, the methods by which characters perish in the average Bond movie: a poisonous chemical rubbed into the face, causing death within minutes.

There are also elements of a Shakespearean tragedy in the Ryan White film, which was released on BookMyShow Stream. Assassins revisits the sensational murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. On February 13, 2017, Kim Jong-nam was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on the way back to Macau. Two women approached him and rubbed the nerve agent VX on his face. Kim Jong-nam died an hour later.

The women were quickly arrested, as were several North Koreans living and working in Malaysia, including a chemist. The assassination, which matches the brazen attacks on Russian dissidents in recent times, was quickly blamed on Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-nam is said to be the preferred son of Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader between 1994 and 2001. After Kim Jong-il’s death, the throne went to Kim Jong-un, the son of his second wife. The new supreme leader’s intolerance of dissent and potential political rivals spread to Kim Jong-nam, who had survived a few assassination attempts in the past, the film suggests.

Kim Jong-nam’s death was caught on CCTV cameras at the airport. The real mystery later revealed and keeps the suspense factor alive in AssassinsWere the two women who killed Kim Jong-nam – one Indonesian and the other Vietnamese – also working for North Korea, or were they trapped in the plot, as they claimed?

The 2020s documentary is based on the GQ magazine article The untold story of Kim Jong-nam’s assassination by Doug Block Clark. The film convincingly proves that the women, Siti Aisyah and Doan Thị Hung, were tricked into thinking they were participating in a prank show.

Using interviews with the women’s attorneys and audio recordings of their trials and following the trail created by damning CCTV footage, the filmmakers provide a stunning example of a scapegoat. Gullible working-class women who unwittingly carried out a perfect murder themselves became the victims because “someone had to be charged because someone was dead,” a Malaysian journalist remarks wryly.

Ryan White and publisher Helan Kearns expertly present an investigative thriller filled with beats of suspense and ominous musical notes. The picture also emerges of a coldly pragmatic diplomacy, which is poised to allow a miscarriage of justice in order to maintain friendly relations. As Siti and Doan form an unlikely friendship behind bars, behind the scenes evidence suggests that your average Hollywood spy thriller about murderous tyrants and corrupt accomplices isn’t so far-fetched. If anything, such films might even be missing.

Assassins (2020).

About Louis Foulds

Louis Foulds

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