In Memoriam Alexander Litvinenko
Were it an episode in a lurid spy thriller, it would be dismissed as too fantastical: a dissident intelligence officer, a thorn in the side of a ruthless and unforgiving regime, dispatched in the most inventively terrifying of ways, by nuclear poisoning. Not only that, hotels, restaurants and offices in the western city in which he is assassinated are drenched in radiation as his incompetent killers (unaware of the lethality of the weapon they are wielding) spread it around like so much perfume, endangering the lives of thousands of unwitting people. Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of Russian Intellligence Agency FSB, lived in exile in Britain, supposedly under the protection of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, when suffered a lingering death at the age of forty-four after being poisoned with the radioactive isotope polonium-210, in November 2006. After Litvinenko's death, Jos de Putter interviewed his close friends and widow. The result is a stunning and frightening portrait of a man who apparently knew too much. Today, the film is all the more urgent, as the British Court started investigations early 2015, that might lead to the proof of the Kremlin's involvement in the most spectacular killing since the Cold War.