To add to the steady stream of documentaries about North Korea, Channel 4’s Dispatches programme has just made one entitled North Korea – Life Inside the Secret State. It will be on the TV soon (though precisely when is not clear from the Channel 4 website), but if you can’t wait there’s a preview screening at the Frontline Club on 12 November. Purchase tickets via the Frontliine Club website
Preview Screening: North Korea – Life Inside the Secret State
Directed and produced by James Jones
Tuesday 12 November 2013, 7.00pm
This Channel 4 Dispatches preview screening will be followed by a panel debate with director James Jones, Dr John Swenson-Wright, senior lecturer in Modern Japanese Politics and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and Rajiv Narayan, researcher for East Asia Team at Amnesty International.
North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un is the world’s youngest dictator, ruling the world’s most repressive state. Through unique undercover material, director and producer James Jones reveals cracks in the regime and investigates the impact the information revolution has had in North Korea.
Jones follows Japanese journalist Jiro Ishimaru, who has been training undercover cameramen in North Korea for fifteen years. On his latest trip to the border with China, he secretly meets one of his agents and receives new undercover footage revealing the harsh reality of every day life on the other side of the border. The footage shows starving homeless children and the elite driving the latest Mercedes in Pyongyang.
We also meet Mr Chung – posing as a mushroom farmer, he smuggles USB sticks and DVDs of South Korean soap operas and entertainment shows into the North. Through these activities, Kim Jong Un can no longer keep the world from seeing the reality of life in North Korea – and just as importantly, he can’t stop his own people from discovering what the outside world is really like.