Yodok Stories

    • Andrzej Fidyk
    • Norway, Poland
    • 2008
    • 81 min
    • European Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
    After Andrzej Fidyk had filmed a stadium parade in North Korea in the late 1980s to the greater honour and glory of then leader Kim Il Sung, the filmmaker remained fascinated with the country that has cut off its inhabitants from the outside world for so many decades. "A country with a totalitarian system that exists in its purest form," Fidyk says in the voice-over. At least 200,000 men, women and children live in concentration camps as state enemies. Fidyk decided to make a film about these camps, but realised that the chance he could actually film there was nil. He found the solution in the South Korean capital of Seoul, where he met a group of escaped prisoners. They collaborated with Jung Sung San, a stage director who fled North Korea in 1994, in making a controversial musical about the refugees' experiences in Yodok, better known as Camp 15. Fidyk follows the rehearsals and talks with victims, but also former camp guards, about their time in North Korea. Images of the camp prove to be unnecessary; camp terminology like "public executions" and "forced abortion" is sufficient. The voice-over soberly provides information on life in North Korea and the concentration camps.


    • 81 min
    • color
    • 35mm
    • Spoken languages: Korean, English
    • Subtitles in: English
    Andrzej Fidyk
    Miroslaw Grubek for MG Productions, Therese Jebsen for Rafto House Foundation
    Tore Vollan, Torstein Grude
    Jan Mikolaj Mironowicz
    Staszek Kolenda

    IDFA history

    European Premiere
    IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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