Frotcast/BookDrunk Radio: ‘A Kim Jong-Il Production’ Author Paul Fischer

Senior Editor
04.06.15

Listen on the player above, or download as an mp3 here (right click, save as).

NOTE: The written version of this interview and introduction is here.

We couldn’t get the Frotcast crew together for a proper Frotcast this past week, but I did interview Paul Fischer A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power. I have a profile and interview going up tomorrow, in the meantime, you can listen to this audio version of it if you’re so inclined.

While it’s not the same thing as a normal Frotcast, I did go all Teri Gross for a Fresh Air-style, hour-long interview. The book tells the story of Choi Eun-Hee and Shin Sang-Ok, who at one point were the most popular actress and director in South Korea. They were kidnapped by Kim Jong-Il in 1978, and after Shin tried to escape twice and spent five years in North Korean gulags, he eventually got out, was reunited with Choi (his ex-wife at that point) and they made seven movies for Kim Jong-Il, including the so-bad-it’s-good cult classic, Pulgasari. They tried to make movies good enough that they’d be in Jong-Il’s good graces, so that he eventually gave them just enough freedom that they were able to escape back to the west. Shin eventually went to Hollywood and made a few movies, including 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up. I talk to Fischer about North Korea, parallels between North Korea and Scientology, The Interview, his personal experience in North Korea, and all about himself, writing the book, Kim Jong-Il, and everything else. Enjoy.

 

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