In 2017, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered in a crowded Malaysian airport. Poisoned in broad daylight, Kim Jong-nam’s death captured the world’s attention. It wasn’t just the victim’s high profile that had news desks in a flurry but the two unassuming young women at the centre of the attack. Wild stories emerged of them being highly trained North Korean spies equipped with poison lipstick while others suggested a bizarre tale of a video prank gone wrong.
Inspired by Doug Bock Clark’s 2017 GQ article ‘The Untold Story of Kim Jong-nam’s Assassination’, director Ryan White (Good Ol’ Freda, The Case Against 8, The Keepers) charts the fate of the two women – Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong – and the various nation-states caught in the middle of this murderous plot. The resulting film goes beyond the stranger-than-fiction headlines to expose a complex web that offers audiences fascinating insights into this event and the broader geopolitics of our region.
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