US, 2020, 104’, English, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Malay
Directed by: Ryan White
Photography (color): John Benam
Editing: Helen Kearns
Music: Murat Selcuk
Producers: Ryan White, Jessica Hargrave
Date of First Release in Territory: December 11th, 2020
In one of the most sensational political assassinations in recent years, Assassins unspools the bewildering story behind the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother to North Korea’s leader. In 2017, Kim Jong-nam was walking through the departure halls of Malaysia’s international airport when two women pressed the most lethal nerve gas on earth into Kim Jong-nam’s eyes. Within the hour, he was dead. But the most baffling aspect of the assassination was the tale told by the two women. They claimed their actions were motivated by someone who hired them for a YouTube prank video.
Subsequently, the women were arrested and tried for murder despite their claims that they did not know it was an assassination. From the sanctum of Pyongyang to the rice fields of Indonesia and to the courtrooms of Kuala Lumpur, Assassins searches for the truth. The documentary film illuminates more than the video footage of the assassination uncovering a tale of manipulation in the age of social media. It presents an unprecedented view of the very public death of a man, an iniquitous dictator, and two women pleading for their lives.
Ryan White is the director of Ask Dr. Ruth (Hulu) and the Emmy-nominated series The Keepers (Netflix). White also directed The Case Against 8 (HBO), which won the U.S. Documentary Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. White also directed Serena (EPIX), Good Ol’ Freda (Magnolia Pictures), and Pelada (PBS).
2010 – Pelada
2013 – Good Ol’ Freda
2014 – The Case Against 8
2016 – Serena
2019 – Ask Dr. Ruth
2020 – Assassins