Keswick Film Club - Camp 14 - Total Control Zone

Sunday 26th January 5:00 PM

Camp 14 - Total Control Zone 

Director: Marc Wiese Country: Germany/South Korea
Cert: 12A Year: 2012 Length: 104 mins Language: Korean
Camp 14 - Total Control Zone

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 80KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 69.92% Attendance: 90

Reviews

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Synopsis

Can you imagine being born in a prison camp where the only crime your parents have committed was to disagree with the government? Stretch this imagination further, then, and think what you would be like 23 years later where this has been your only reality; where everyday you are forced to work long hours and can only dream of the luxury of a bowl of rice. You are unaware that other people do not live as you do. You have seen no books, indeed you can barely read or add up. Education has been the very minimum to allow you to carry out the slave labour you have done since you were 6 years old.

This was the world of Shin Donghyuk. Born into a North Korean political prison, he lived there all his life until he was 23, when he managed to escape. This film tells his story, using interviews with him where he lives now (in South Korea) and animated sequences to describe his life in the camp. Shin Donghyuk is possibly the only person to have escaped from a North Korean camp (These camps are so large they can be seen from space), so the world press were keen to talk to him. He was taken to the USA and asked to speak out to help those still in the camps, but he is a very quiet man who found the spotlight too hard to take, especially as his experience had taught him that the only way to survive was to keep quiet and accept anything and everything. He left America and went to South Korea.

Some of the things he did as a prisoner seem horrific to us, but he had nothing to compare them against; to survive, he did what he was told, what he had to do - Marc Weise's documentary "reveals a man broken by the knowledge that freedom has brought him" - Anton Bitel, Film Forever. It will also reveal to many people the very existence of these camps; how this secret has been kept beggars belief. They have existed twice as long as the Soviet Gulags and about twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. You will be amazed and horrified at Shin Donghyuk's story.

Critics

open_quote A harrowing, important and shocking documentary close_quote Katherine Mclaughlin, Viewlondon


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