Sony Picture’s film The Interview, which was not screened due to the alleged hacking attack by North Korea, attracted considerable publicity at the end of last year. It represented a flagrant attempt by North Korea – if indeed they are the culprits – to silence the screening of a film about the fictional attempt to assassinate the leader of that country, Kim Jong-un.
Amnesty International has released The Other Interview which features the story of Park Ji-hyu who fled starvation in North Korea and was then trafficked into China and sold as a slave to a farmer. She was reported to the Chinese authorities as a defector and was forcibly returned to North Korea. She was sent to one of their hellish prison camps where she faced starvation and torture. She eventually managed to escape.
Amnesty International’s UK Director Kate Allen said ‘Sony has every right to make a comedy about North Korea. We should all be worried when blackmail, threats to cinemas, and the hacking of private data are being used to censor and silence.
‘In reality, many people in North Korea are subjected to an existence beyond nightmares. The population is ruled by fear with a network of prison camps a constant spectre for those who dare step out of line.
‘Thousands of people in the camps are worked to death, starved to death [or] beaten to death. Some are sent there just for knowing someone who has fallen out of favour.
‘Amnesty is releasing The Other Interview so that people all over the world can hear first-hand how people in North Korea are suffering appallingly at the hands of Kim Jong-un and his officials.
‘They don’t want you to see it which is precisely why you should.’
A preview can be seen on YouTube. We do not know if this film will be shown in Salisbury but we will see if we can arrange a viewing somewhere.
This is being written while the dreadful events are playing out in France following the assassination of journalists and cartoonists in the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. This is another attempt – this time by violent means – to silence criticism and the particular kind of satire that this magazine goes in for.
The Salisbury group’s North Korean YouTube video clip can be see here.