“This American Life” Does North Korean Cinema

A Kim Jong-il Production This American Life, a podcast I suggest you all listen to, featured a fantastic retelling of the Shin Sang-ok & Choi Eun-hee saga this past week. The story of the kidnapping South Korean director and star at the hands of movie fanatic Kim Jong-il is beautifully told by Paul Fischer (who has authored a book on the subject) is especially worth a listen as it contains extracts from the secret recordings Shin and Choi made of Kim Jong-il while held captive. Listen to the podcast (which includes two other stories) below.

If you’ve read around the subject extensively, there won’t be much shocking to discover here (“what?! there’s a North Korean Godzilla movie?”) but for the generalist, this is a great introduction.

For me it’s always with mixed feelings that I read stories about Shin Sang-ok’s time in North Korea… I spent months researching the story myself but never got around to writing it. How do you say “carpe diem” in Korean?

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