And now for something a little different

yodok-storiesEvery now and then I witness something that really gets to me, be it a, book, movie, tv show, news story, whatever… This time it was a film review. The film in question is Yodok Stories, and in all fairness, doesn’t really matter to this post.

What matters is what the film’s about. In the 80’s, filmmaker Andrezej Fidyk traveled to North Korea to make a documentary about the massive parades and demonstrations celebrating Communist rule, and had been wanting to make another film ever since, which he’s finally done. While there, he heard stories about Nazi and Soviet inspired concentration camps that hold political prisoners, the great majority of whom never make it out alive.

Of course, he couldn’t “prove” that such places exist, as North Korea isn’t exactly the most welcoming country on earth, but the stories he heard broke his heart and inspired him to try anyways.

Through interviews with the few who have made it out alive, the film paints a grim picture for life in the camps.

It’s estimated that at least 200,000 people are held in these camps currently, and for every one person sentanced to life in them, at least three or four people are imprisoned. This is because North Korea has what’s called a “three generations” policy, where if one person in sentanced, their parents, spouses, and children are imprisoned with them. Inside the camps, torture, starvation, rape, forced abortions, inhuman experimentation, and executions are common. Prisoners are kept in small groups in scattered villages inside the camps walls to eliminate the threat of mass revolt.

The most surprising thing about these concentration camps, is that almost no one knows about them. Very little has been reported in the media, and not a lot is online. A Google search for north korea concentration camps only yields about 164,000 results. Comparatively, a search for britney spears yields over 88 million results.

concentration-camps

britney-spearsThe sad truth…

For more information, visit the blog One Free Korea, which has some amazing Google Earth photographs of the areas where suspected camps are located.

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~ by flexifish87 on April 27, 2009.

One Response to “And now for something a little different”

  1. Great job on how you tied all of this together. You were able to move your movie beat into a journalistically sound analysis of an under reported issue.

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