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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Kim Jong-il’s Comedy Club is back: bigger, better and under a new name

For those who missed this excellent documentary when it showed on the BBC recently, it’s returning to cinemas this month under its theatrical name, The Red Chapel. It’s also a slightly longer cut, 87 minutes as opposed to the hour that the BBC gave it. The screenings are part of the Human Rights Watch film festival. Filmmaker Mads Brügger will be in attendance at the Mar 19 screening.

Screening details:

Location: ICA, The Mall, London
Date and time: March 19, 2010 6:30pm
Book tickets by clicking here or by calling the box office: 20 7930 3647.

Location: Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London
Date and time: March 22, 2010 6:30pm +0000
Book tickets online by clicking here or by calling the cinema box office: 0871 7033 988.

Location: The Ritzy, Brixton Oval, London
Date and time: March 25, 2010 7:00pm +0000
Book tickets online by clicking here or by calling the box office: 0871 704 2065.

A journalist with no scruples, a spastic, and a comedian travels to North Korea with a mission – to challenge the conditions of the smile in one of the world’s most notorious regimes.
On the pretext of being a small theatre troupe on a cultural exchange visit from Denmark, ‘The Red Chapel’ was given permission to travel to North Korea with the objective of performing at special events for selected audiences. But in reality the small troupe was compromised of a group who had no such intentions. Two group members, Jacob and Simon, were both adopted form North Korea to Europe as infants and this is their story about the confrontation with their biological roots, and their attempt to act and perform in a world where humour and humanity have very poor conditions.
It is also a story about the meeting between the free mind and the absolute surveillance society. North Korea’s 23 million citizens are ruled by the iron hand of ‘The Dear Leader’, General Kim Jong-il. The country has a history of starving its people, violating human rights and abusing and killing its handicapped citizens. The title ‘The Red Chapel’ is a reference to a communist spy cell that operated in Nazi Germany under the name ‘Rote Kapelle’.
In short, The Red Chapel chronicles the amusing and often bizarre encounters between this Danish “theatre troupe” and their North Korean hosts in a one of a kind, East-meets-West-meets-East look at cultural exchange in the modern world’s last anti-globalist bastion.


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