As reported on the North Korea Tech blog, Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea and North Korea’s main national daily, launched an English-language website over the last couple of days with quite a large amount of content.
It’s not been up and running for long but I decided to take glance to see if there were any articles on the subject of cinema that had made their way online and low and hehold, a journalist by the name of Han Chung Hyok had produced a little elegy about the Kim Jong Il’s influence on North Korea’s cinema. The full article is reproduced below, but it’s interesting to note that in 2011 he provided “on the spot guidance” for a film called Wishes that premiered in Pyongyang in December. The site also has an article on that film, here.
Kim Jong Il and the Development of Cinema Art
Cinema artists of the Korean Film Studio miss leader Kim Jong Il ever so much. All the more so now that he passed away.
Their unforgettable memories date back to 1965 when the feature film “The Path to Awakening” was in the making under his guidance. Those were the days when Korean cinema artists were trained to remain always true to the Workers’ Party and to the idea of Juche.
For nearly half a century since then, busy as he was with the Party and state affairs, he gave energetic guidance to the development of Korean cinema art.
Under his loving care many famous cinema artists including movie stars were produced.
Among them are Choe Chang Su, labor hero and People’s Actor, Kim Ryong Rin, winner of Kim Il Sung Prize and People’s Actor, and Hong Yong Hui[star of The Flower Girl], People’s Actress.
They all recalled in deep emotion that leader Kim Jong Il would come to the film studio in the morning or in the evening and sometimes deep at night and at the small hours of the morning, discussing on the scenario and guiding actors and actresses how to do their part perfectly.
They also remembered the days when under his energetic guidance they produced the multi-part serial “Star of Korea” in the 1970s and 1980s, and the multi-part serial “The Nation and Destiny” and such masterpieces as “A Schoolgirl’s Diary” and “Pyongyang Nalpharam” in the 1990s and 2000s.
In 2011, he guided production of the feature film “Wish.” He gave the core for the scenario, personally picked up leading actors and actresses, thus bringing this film to perfection. It was the last feature film put out under his personal guidance.
The studio has produced more than 900 movies from 1965 to 2011. But the studio has not yet produced any piece portraying leader Kim Jong Il. They all feel sorry and guilty. Now they are all out to produce new masterpieces.
Han Chung Hyok