Saudi Smear Campaigns against the “Dissident” Movie on Jamal Khashoggi
The Saudi regime is waging a major smear campaign against the “dissident” movie to prevent it from spreading. The film is about the life of the late and reveals secrets about his murder. The film also sheds light on Saudi authorities practices to suppress freedom of opinion and expression.
According to the filmmakers, the “dissident” has been fiercely attacked by electronic flies of the Saudi regime which seeks to change the international rating of the movie to stop Western audiences from watching it, for bin Salman to maintain his image, which is already full of scandals, violations and crimes.
“Dissident” Movie on Jamal Khashoggi
The “dissident”, a documentary directed by American Brian Vogel, received
high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb at the beginning of its release. It was also praised by a large number of critics and politicians such as Hillary Clinton, who recommended watching the movie of the murder of Khashoggi inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul at the hands of Saudi agents with direct orders of Bin Salman.
Until last week, the movie received ratings of nine or ten stars on the IMDB website, owned by Amazon, for 5,000 out of 9,200 visitors, but since Saturday, negative reviews began to increase until it received 1 start from about 1175 ratings, to increase the negative rating to 20%.
The film faced the same attacks on Rotten Tomatoes, as its positive rating dropped from 95% to 68%.
The comments made were not logical as one of them stated that “Documentaries are always based on reality that I did not see in this film. I did not see anything about Khashoggi in this documentary. Even his family did not participate. I would not recommend it to anyone”, despite Khashoggi and his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz appearing in a large part of the film.
A Rotten Tomatoes spokesperson told the Washington Post, which Khashoggi was working for before his assassination, that the website’s management suspects fraud ratings, given this sudden shift in the film’s rating results. He confirmed that these ratings are now subject to scrutiny.
The Washington Post also quoted the filmmakers as believing that there are “trolls working for the Saudi government behind this campaign with the aim of creating a false sense of popular dissatisfaction” of the film, noting that the website “will remove the false classifications discovered.”
The newspaper pointed out that the film, screened in cinemas last month, is being attacked because it shows the Saudi regime’s attempts to silence dissidents, and exposes its use for the electronic flies which work for bin Salman to focus only on positive decisions he made while seeking to conceal any negative criticism of him, thus creating a culture of the one voice.
Thor Halvorssen, founder and CEO of a non-profit human rights foundation that funded the film, said that the Saudi regime with this campaign “confirmed the truth of the content of the movie. They actually have an electronic army.”
It is worth noting that the documentary, whose director won an Oscar before, was subjected to other fierce campaigns from the Saudi regime at the beginning of its release, as famous movie platforms like Netflix, Amazon and others were pressed to not screen the film, in an attempt to limit its spreading and viewing, therefore the filmmakers found “Berecliffe Entertainment” platform, an independent company with limited reach, to display it.
The Saudi regime tried before to silence Khashoggi’s voice and ideas by assassinating him in the most brutal way; however their efforts did not succeed, thus Khashoggi’s fame increased even more and his ideas spread widely, and dozens of activists and human rights defenders took the initiative to complete the mission he started and paid his life as a price for it.
The regime is now attempting with all possible means to eliminate any work that commemorates Khashoggi’s memory and exposes those who suppress opponents and opinion holders.
Why didn’t the Saudi regime learn the lesson? And why does it insist on adopting the same methods against its opponents, which only increase their strength and determination to expose the Saudi regime’s ugly face?
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