A Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and Kim Jong-Il's Rise to Power

THU, FEB 12, 2015 (33:46)

Before becoming the world’s most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi)—South Korea’s most famous actress—and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country’s most famous filmmaker.

Prize-winning documentarian and film producer Paul Fischer discusses his new book about the young dictator's outrageous behavior in A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power. The nonfiction thriller is packed with tension, passion, and politics, and offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea’s history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today.

+ BIO: Paul Fischer

Paul Fischer is a film producer who studied social sciences at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and film at the University of Southern California and the New York Film Academy. Paul’s first feature film, the documentary Radioman, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Doc NYC film festival and was released to critical and commercial acclaim. A Kim Jong-Il Production is his first book.

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Asian News, Heritage and Culture