In 2018 the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, referred to in the film as Mr. K, captured the world’s attention as little by little, snippets of his fate became public. What started out as a mysterious disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, slowly spiraled into an elaborate web of lies, and ultimately, a horrific murder. The news was particularly disturbing as it seemingly happened at the behest of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, prompting many world leaders to step into the ring and voice their condemnation, including the US president, “Mr. T”.
In his film, Jan Ijäs puts together an eerie retelling of the time following Khashoggi’s murder, following the day by day unravelling of facts and fiction that gripped international headlines. The moody reels of Istanbul city life coupled with the calm narration that guides the film’s direction create an intense atmosphere that slowly but surely creeps under your skin. It is a delicate balancing act that Ijäs performs in complementing the horrific details of
Khashoggi’s demise, with lush green visuals of the Belgrade forest, a site once thought to be the final resting place for the remains of the journalist. The film is both a collected recount of a man’s murder, as well as an intense deepdive into the corrupt conspiracies that were born from that day.
– Lydia Taylerson / Docpoint
16mm film (color)
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Script, directed, edited and produced: Jan Ijäs
Cinematography: Ville Piippo, Jan Ijäs
Sound Design: Svante Colérus, Jan Ijäs
Narration voice-over: Rebecca Clamp
Voice-over recording: Matti Ahopelto
Music: Vilunki 3000 and Matti Ahopelto
Production Company: Atalante Ltd.
Media artist and film director Jan Ijäs (b. 1975) studied documentary filmmaking at the Department of Film, Television, and Scenography at the Aalto University in Helsinki. His work can be described as a blend of avant-garde, experimental media art, and non-fiction filmmaking. His films have been screened at more than 200 international and Finnish film festivals and installations in museums and art galleries. He has won numerous awards, including the Finnish Risto Jarva Prize in 2011 for SWEET MOV(I)E, Raft of the Médusa, a film about immigration won Amnesty International Award 2018 at the IndieLisboa film festival in Portugal.