ASSASSINS

Directed by Ryan White

* Limited tickets available.

Official Selection, 2020 Sundance Film Festival

In 2017, fuzzy images from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport shocked the world. Not just because they captured the murder of Kim Jong-nam, best known as Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother. It was rather the nonchalant manner of the assassins: two young women (one dressed in an “LOL” sweater!) snuck up behind the unsuspecting traveler and wiped a mystery toxin on his face before disappearing into the airport crowd. Were they the perfect killers? Pawns of the Hermit Kingdom? Or, as they later professed, told they were making a funny viral video but tricked into committing murder?

And just as profoundly: who are Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah, and what does this most bizarre political hit tell us about the lives of Southeast Asian migrant women within the sticky web of post-Cold War geopolitics? With a narrative that spans five countries, ASSASSINS delves into such questions with the aplomb of a real-life spy film with larger-than-life characters. There are jealous despots, aspiring actresses, plainclothes spies, diligent researchers, a watchful journalist, a CIA agent, and a mystery man known only as “Mr. Y.” Malaysia’s judicial intrigue will meet global YouTube superstardom. Whether political collateral damage or the most cunning femmes fatales, two women face the death penalty as the world watches.

–Brian Hu

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