NISMAN – The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy

  • Sundance
  • Prix EU

a global true crime series that reveals how the dealings between Argentina, Iran, Israel and the USA – and their respective secret services – culminated in the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman.


Year

2019

Length

6 x 60 min

Director

Justin Webster

Synopsis

A prosecutor investigating a terrorist bombing accuses the Argentinian president of colluding with Iran. Four days later he is found dead in his bathroom with a single shot to the head. Alberto Nisman died in Buenos Aires, but the shockwaves of this mysterious murder, or suicide, spread across the globe to Israel, Iran and the United States. Immediately in Argentina president Cristina Kirchner was accused of having Nisman murdered. Thousands took to the streets to protest. In turn, Kirchner accused the most infamous, and feared person in Argentina, a veteran spy with close ties to the CIA and Mossad, Jaime Stiuso, of conspiring against her. With Argentina in turmoil, the focus turned back to the unsolved case of the murder of 85 Jews in the AMIA bombing of 1994, the biggest terrorist attack in the Western hemisphere before 9/11, and the biggest attack on Jews outside Israel since the Second World War. This is a story of ambition, corruption and dirty tricks which unfolds, with rival narratives of good and evil, of suicide or murder, and of truth itself, around a body in a bathroom with enormous international resonance.

Director
Justin Webster

Script Writers
Justin Webster, Martín Rocca

Produced by
Sumpta Ayuso, Christian Beetz, Adrià Monés

Realisation
Martín Rocca

Producer
Caroline Schaper

Line Producers
Kathrin Isberner, Marc Epping

Director of Photography
Lucas Gath

Sound
Juampi Soto

Editor
Garbiñe Armentia, Inés Boffi

Score
Laro Basterrechea, Álvaro González Santos

Production Manager
Sumpta Ayuso

Commissioning Editors
Imke Meier – Redaktion ZDFinfo
Íñigo Trojaola – Redaktion TAD

Nisman
Trailer
  • Webster’s most original and most ambitious series to date [...] marking the full emergence of an auteur and the creative and industrial potential of a form of story-telling with which he admits he’s obsessed: Cinematic non-fiction series.
    Variety
    23 Sept 2019
  • The narration of The Prosecutor, the President, and the Spy is classic, fluid and faithful to the requirements of the genre.
    La Nación
    1 Jan 2020
  • Nisman: The Prosecutor, The President and The Spy is an eye-opening and surprising true crime documentary series. [It] does bring to light a controversial and shocking subject in an engaging manner.
    The Review Geek
    2 Jan 2020
  • The best documentaries search for clarity in life’s murkiest zones, and the Nisman case absolutely fits that description. Stories like this are fascinating — they span decades; touch on personal, legal and political issues; and seek to fan away smokescreens in pursuit of truth. So far, Webster seems committed to exploring every nook and cranny, piecing together a complicated story with clarity and a good ear for dramatic revelations.
    Decider
    3 Jan 2020
  • Five years after Nisman's death, the documentary re-opens the controversy around a case which is dividing Argentina and around which conspiracy theories never stopped circulating.
    El País
    3 Jan 2020
  • Over six, hour-long chapters with dozens of interviews and testimonies, including current President Alberto Fernández — who is not related to Cristina Fernández — researchers, spies, FBI and CIA agents and unpublished images, British director Justin Webster seeks to shed light on the case through the documentary. The series quickly became the most commented topic on social media in Argentina and the president himself spoke to the media to address his statements in the documentary.
    AP News
    3 Jan 2020
  • The Prosecutor, the President and the Spy' at first looks like 'Homeland', but it is much more: it is a non-fiction series that sheds light on the death of Alberto Nisman.
    GQ
    13 Jan 2020
  • [A] series of six chapters that patiently unravels one of the most unresolved cases in Argentina.
    The New York Times
    List Sub Title
  • The great novelty on this fifth anniversary of the explosive denunciation and dramatic end of the official [Nisman] did not come from the courts, the government or even the local media. It was instead a six-part miniseries directed by a British documentary filmmaker, Justin Webster. The finished product bypasses fanaticism, but records all points of view, offering respect for everyone. It is meticulous. Nor are there, throughout those intense six hours, any low blows or sensationalism. It is an exceptional work. And, on top of that, it's entertaining.
    Buenos Aires Times
    17 Jan 2020
  • The case has been so messed up that — spoiler alert! — not even the exhaustive six-hour Netflix documentary could conclude whether Nisman took his own life or was murdered.
    Miami Herald
    17 Jan 2020
  • Predictably, the series — which highlights the role played in the AMIA investigation by the intelligence services and the CIA — has caused a storm of reaction on Twitter. 'Five minutes of the Nisman series and it makes me want to cry and leave the country forever,' said one user, Lu Abelera.
    The Times of Israel
    17 Jan 2020
  • Dozens of books have been written about Nisman's death. Now, just in time for its 5th anniversary, German television is airing a six-part documentary, which was produced jointly by Netflix and ZDF. The six-hour mammoth-documentary is by far the best which has been published on Nisman's death so far. While it doesn't solve the mystery, it does uncover traces and hints towards a plausible explanation of Nisman's death.
    Der Spiegel
    18 Jan 2020
  • Here's what Justin Webster, who is neither a lawyer nor a judge and doesn't carry institutional responsibility, could achieve: objectively presenting the facts without omitting testimonies or circumstances, without making up facts which do not exist and, even less, presenting hypotheses and stories without evidence supporting them, hence presenting them as truth.
    Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (former President of Argentina)
    20 Jan 2020
  • No voice-over, no judgment by the author, only Nisman's last paperwork is occasionally being re-enacted. Otherwise, Webster is exclusively using his own material, a host of interviews he conducted himself and scenes with archive material, for example from prosecuting authorities. He mixes everything into a potpourri, which at times may be confusing but removes layer after layer. Steadily, new oddities are surfacing, such as Nisman's foreign accounts. But the director leaves all conclusions to the audience.
    Süddeutsche Zeitung
    22 Jan 2020
  • A multilayered work of diligence about government failure that leaves you stunned and shocked.
    Tagesspiegel
    29 Jan 2020
  • The at times overwhelming but always impressive documentary mini-series about the far-reaching causes and effects of the murder of an Argentinian prosecutor showcases modern documentary filmmaking at its best.
    Frankfurter Rundschau
    31 Jan 2020

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In co-production with