When an investigative journalist is killed, it falls to his colleague to expose the corruption that cost her friend his life. From returning director Ian Gabriel comes this high-energy political thriller highlighting the devastating risks faced by South African whistleblowers.
Death of a Whistleblower
When her friend and fellow reporter Stanley Galloway (Rob van Vuuren) is murdered for daring to release catastrophic state secrets, investigative journalist Luyanda Masinda (Noxolo Dlamini) is thrown headfirst into a dangerous search for those responsible.
Stanley is the latest victim in a string of suspicious killings across South Africa intended to silence those committed to rooting out government corruption. Unintimidated, Luyanda is propelled into action, scouring her friend’s files for details about the explosive story he was chasing, knowing it holds the key to exposing his killers. Luyanda uncovers what Stanley had learned about the government’s latest privatization scheme and the double-dealing profiteers who stand to benefit. Tracking down the identity of his confidential source inside the state department, Luyanda unearths a vile conspiracy and discovers why Stanley’s killers so desperately wanted him silenced.
From South African director Ian Gabriel (Forgiveness, TIFF ’04; Four Corners, TIFF ’13) comes a high-energy political thriller highlighting a decades-long and frighteningly real national crisis of whistleblower assassinations. Dlamini delivers a potent performance with flawless command while Gabriel’s assured eye stays true to his trenchant study of the country’s evolving post-apartheid journey. Death of a Whistleblower offers a kinetic and provocative plunge into the struggle over state capture and the sheer power of principled speech.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisory: violence