From Ryan White (“The Keepers”), “Assassins” is a real life political thriller that is as bizarre as it comes. The documentary is surreal in its sequence where nothing is quite predictable. Both haunting and anxious with heaping doses of noir, this is a portrait of literal savagery.
On February 13 2017, Kim Jong-nam, half brother of Kim Jong-un, was approached by two women. One of the women placed her hands over Jong-nam’s face while the other sprayed Jong-nam’s eyes and verbally said sorry. She ran away holding her hands up.
Both girls ran to the bathroom.
Doan, a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman was arrested in the attack along with Siti, a 25-year-old from Malaysia. The news was abuzz with speculation that the pair were cold blooded killers.
Both Siti and Doan were flabbergasted saying they were only hired to perform a television prank on Jong-nam by spraying water in his face.
The two women were held in prison for over two years and had not known each other.
It is said that Kim Jong-nam was a marked man because in addition to biting criticism of his brother, Jong-nam also embarrassed Jong-un, by using a false passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland. At the time of his assassination, Jong-nam lived in exile.
At first glance it is tempting to believe that Doan and Siti are cold and calculating. But evidence suggests that the women were indeed naive pawns. One’s heart will go out to the both of them.
What of the ring leaders of the crime? None of the four possible masterminds were charged. One James, the TV prank host, vanished into supposed thin air, before hiring Doan once more at the same scene of the crime. When Doan arrived James could not be found and his phone was disconnected.
Meanwhile life in North Korea continues with Jong-un flexing his military muscles and Trump is shown smiling at the memory of an affectionate letter from the dictator.
In watching “Assassins” you will be left with more questions than answers, along with a sense of astonishment regarding the gullibility of these two women.
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