Wonder what the reaction will be when the citizens of NK see The Interview?
Hopefully it’ll be only a matter of not-so-long time for us to know.
What are pirate sitcoms?
I don’t suppose they get any documentaries explaining the gap between official US doctrine and reality?
Why would they care? North Koreans don’t defect to the US, generally; they defect to South Korea. Or China.
And, you know, bad as the US may be, they don’t lock up your parents and children as well as you when it’s just you that commited the crime.
North Korea’s top scientists have now quit working on the atomic weapons programme in order to work on finding ways to explain the gap between official US doctrine and reality without also showing that US reality is still better than North Korean reality.
Also, I assume that the US doesn’t figure into it. I seriouslz hope they are using South Korean, not US sitcoms as propaganda. An American show, even if dubbed into Korean, will just be very alien and off-putting to North Koreans who haven’t been exposed to any kind of outside culture for a few decades.
Secret police man reads seized documents and changes sides? Some one should write a book like that…
I knew of this couple (I went to their coffee shop on the NK border and had a number of friends who knew them pretty well). He’s being charged with espionage, but it seems to have been an open secret that they were a stop-off point for people escaping from North Korea.
The snippet above specifically mentions Friends and Titanic, so it seems like American pop culture definitely plays a part.
Even The Interview—the Kim Jong-un assassination comedy that the North Korean government tried to keep from being released by using threats, intimidation, and (according to the FBI) a devastating hacking operation against Sony Pictures—has made its way into the country. Chinese traders’ trucks carried 20 copies of the film across the border the day after Christmas, just two days after its online release.
Apparently it’s already made its way over. Though we’ll have to wait and see if there is any specific reaction it elicits that other films/shows/books don’t.
Does this mean that North Korea is officially Dystopian?
(Oddly BBS thinks “Dystopian” is a spelling mistake and offers up “Utopian” as the alternative…)
This reminds me of a story about Romania under Ceacescu. The dictator wanted Dallas shown on Romanian television to show people how corrupt and decadent the U.S. was. It backfired in a way with many Romanians getting hooked on the show and saying, “We want to live like that!”
So, is there a USB to VHS adapter widely available? How the help do they watch this bootleg material?
Yeah, one of my friends said “media is the way it breaks”… this has been an old issue, and it is very interesting, same kind of principle works with religious cults, too. Much more effective then straight out truth telling propaganda. The little ins and outs of the logic found in fictional cinema hits at their brain over time. The interest factor, enjoyment factor, not only ensures the show is watched, but enjoyed, and so remembered. Nothing needs to be taught or said directly, their own mind will eventually find the little bits of incongruencies the shows highlight in their own totalitarian mental bubble.
Same way our mind works with dreams.
One could wonder why first world countries educational systems haven’t relied on it more. Thankfully, they are moving more into this direction. Probably anyone can think of complicated areas of learning where a book or movie explained the situation to them in a storytelling format, and helped them get all of the pieces together they never could by archaic techniques like rote memorization.
An interesting consideration: what if there was something ahead of first world countries and they saw us like north korea. Would they attempt to communicate to us via fictional mediums? Stories end up as part of our language, we can take chunks from them and use them not only to think about difficult concepts, but also to express those difficult concepts to each other like words we did not have before.
You know, I bet the North Koreans would RTFA.
They have reasonably modern computers and TVs in NK.
The whole article is worth reading. It addresses many of the questions here.
If you search on YouTube for “Juche Animation” you’ll find an episode of this NK cartoon about a nation of happy animal people menaced by another country, populated by mice and oppressed by leering bad guys in a flying HQ. Clearly an analogy for how the DPRK views itself, South Korea, and the U.S.
Weirdity: In one scene some mice people are viewing a TV program – something about a road race – from the sunny liberated country on an illicit portable video player. A nasty quisling mouse catches them.
So, a DPRK propaganda cartoon manages to depict the predicament its own citizens are in.
Read article. They refer several times to USA movies and sitcoms - one of defectors saw all episodes of all seasons of Friends many times.
… she says in fluent English, which she perfected by watching the entire run of Friends dozens of times.
Also please note the headline of the article:
The Plot to Free North Korea With Smuggled Episodes of ‘Friends’
According to the article, some people they think it makes fun of them and don’t like it.
Of course, it could just be that it was a bad movie.