Two very different movies about North Korea were featured in September’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The first was a documentary entitled “Camp 14 – Total Control Zone”, by the German filmmaker Marc Wiese. According to the TIFF publicity, this is “An enthralling documentary portrait of twenty-nine-year-old Shin Dong-huyk, who was born and spent the first two decades of his life behind the barb wire of a North Korean labour camp, until his dramatic escape launched him into an outside world he had never known.” The movie is based on the book by journalist Blaine Harden entitled Escape From Camp 14, which has been reviewed for CanKor by editor Jack Kim.
The second film featured at the TIFF was a romantic comedy, a joint Belgium, UK & North Korea production. According to TIFF, the movie is about “A young female coal miner (who) struggles to realize her dream of becoming a circus acrobat in this winning, life-affirming fable that is the first Western-financed fiction feature ever made in North Korea.”