Film Review: Assassins

Whilst there remain a few secretive regimes around the world, none are quite as covert or fascinating as North Korea. Since the end of the Korean War, its borders have essentially been closed. Whilst we’re only afforded slivers of information from defectors or visitors, it’s clear that the Kim Family’s cult of personality, alongside the political ideology of Juche or self-reliance, is quite unique amongst nations.

Whilst Kim Jong-un might be the current ‘Dear Leader’ and his power is absolute, it doesn’t prevent political machinations or familial disputes. Indeed, with great power comes great anxiety and paranoia in the DPPK. On 13 February 2017, Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of the late Kim Jong-il and half-brother of the current ruler, was assassinated using a nerve agent in Kuala Lumper Airport. Assassins tells the story of the two women convicted of his murder.

Assassins tells an extraordinary and almost unbelievable story in a detailed and meticulously crafted way. It could easily have been sensualised or overwrought but director Ryan White is more interested in the three victims of this unusual plot and uncovering the truth. Using security footage, interviews and other media he pieces together a tangled web of exploitation and intrigue. Assassins is a fascinating investigation into a rather singular murder.

Assassins is available on Dogwoof on demand and other digital platforms from 29 January.

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