THE DISSIDENT Capsule Review

THE DISSIDENT - Briarcliff Entertainment

This film was reviewed from a digital screener. Screen and Stage encourages its readers to follow safety precautions outlined by health authorities.

The Dissident (Dir. Bryan Fogel, 2020, In select theaters and on VOD) - A very brave film to release, especially in a time when the entertainment business is increasingly working with Saudi Arabia, Bryan Fogel’s follow up to his Oscar-winning ICARUS, THE DISSIDENT, doesn’t pack that film’s shock but does create another damning portrait of a governmental cover-up, in this case, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Well-produced, well-researched, and featuring intimate interviews with many of those close to Khashoggi including his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, the film, while a bit overlong, is a compelling piece of work that any company should view before considering working with the Saudi government. Also of note: THE DISSIDENT, despite its obvious high quality, stellar reviews out of Sundance, and Oscar-winning director, was turned down by many scared distributors before Briarcliff Entertainment purchased it last fall. That alone should speak to the film’s power and make it worth seeking out and supporting. 3/4