You may have heard of Escape From Camp 14 – the harrowing true story of an escape from a North Korean prison camp, written by Blaine Harden. Shin Dong-Hyuk was born in one of those camps, and managed to crawl to freedom, to live as a defector in South Korea.
You can read his story. But can you really put yourself in his place? A new documentary aims to do just that. The Defector, by Ann Shin, has two components: a conventional film, and an online, interactive documentary. Initial funds for the movie were raised through Kickstarter. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’ve tried the site. I’m not sure how effective it is, because the surroundings are so surreal it feels more like a video game than something real people experience every day. Or maybe that’s just my brain’s way of coping with something so horrible.
I think it is an important project, to get the outside world a real idea of just what is happening inside North Korea, beneath the veil that’s shown to the outside world.
If you’re interested in checking out the online project, it’s available here: http://experience.thedefectormovie.com/
It’s a terrifying, but worthwhile experience.