The SOAS spring seminar series kicks off this Friday, 16 January, with a talk by Nick Bonner, founder of Koryo Tours and collaborator with Daniel Gordon on three fascinating documentaries on North Korea, showing a very different side from the picture we see from reading the newspapers.
The seminar will take place at 5pm in room G52 of the main SOAS building and is open to the public.
Details on Nick Bonner and the talk are as follows:
Nick Bonner has been visiting North Korea most months since 1993 and in the late 1990’s teamed up with Daniel Gordon to find out the truth about the North Korean football heroes of 1966 who created the greatest shock in World Cup history coming in as 1000: 1 outsiders and beating the Italians. On their return to North Korea, they were never heard from again, amongst rumours that they had been imprisoned due to womanising and drinking. The film ‘The Game of Their Lives’ won the Royal Television Society Award for best sports documentary. They not only tracked down the surviving members of the team but in 2002 took them back to the UK and the scenes of their victories including a 33,000 standing ovation at Middlesbrough FC.
Their second documentary, ‘A State of Mind’, focused on two young gymnasts in the lead up to the mass games, the world’s largest choreographed performance with over 100,000 participants. Filmed over the period of a year, they had incredible access not only into the training behind this event but also to the private lives of the girls’ families.
Their most recent 2006 documentary, ‘Crossing the Line’, focused on US soldiers who crossed the DMZ into North Korea in the early 60’s and had never been seen again. This film was selected for the Sundance Film Festival.
Making documentaries in North Korea is no easy task but the results were due to the incredible co-operation they had with their Korean counterparts. Nick will show clips of all three documentaries and stills as well as the stories behind the making of these films.
- SOAS seminar series page
- Koryo Tours website
- Very Much So Productions website
- Read Peter Corbishley’s account of the evening here.
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.