TitanicAmazes Moscow And Hong Kong Audience; To Be Exported to West
A newly made DPRK version of
Titanic is now drawing
unprecedented attention and interest from non-Socialist nations of the
world. The film
Sara-innun Ryonghongdul (literally means
Living Souls, and titled
Souls Protest in English) was
shown for the first time in an international film festival in Moscow
held between June 21 and 30, together with four other pieces made in
north Korea. A Russian newspaper reviewed the film by saying that it
reminded people of James Cameron’s
Titanic in light of
its scale, the sophisticated scene of the vessel’s explosion,
and a moving love story, and so on.
The 100-minutes-long motion picture was simultaneously put on the
screen at a Hong Kong Film Festival held between June 27 and 29,
amazing the audience. A Hong Kong film import company is reported to
have signed an agreement with Pyongyang to import the north Korean
feature film for the first time. South Korean daily
Ilbo explained the reason by saying that it would be accepted by
Hongkongites as a
sort of commercial film and a much less
ideologically-oriented one, and said that it was expected to be
exported to the Western society including Canada and Europe in the
It is unique and something new. First, the movie was much costly produced compared to traditional north Korean feature films, for which some 10,000 extras were enrolled. Second, this is the first north Korean film in which CG technology developed by top engineers and experts in the country was introduced. Third, it is a criticism of Japan by way of an artistic form, fully representing a historical fact about a long-concealed tragedy of Koreans which took place 9 days after Korea was liberated from the 36 years of Japanese colonial rule.
The story is about the so-called
Ukishima-Maru Incident. some
3,800 Korean expatriates in Japan were aboard the
Japanese naval vessel, which had been supposed to arrive in Pusan, a
southeastern port of Korea, bidding farewell to their slave-like lives
in the Japanese Archipelagoes—a suzerain of Korea. They included
comfort women for the Imperial Army of Japan,
and other survivors of forced displacement by Japan. They were full of
joy, emancipated and bearing hopes for a freed Korea. The tragedy,
however, took place the moment shortly after the ship had left a pier
of Maizuru Port on August 24, 1945 as the vessel was bomb-exploded to
sink inside the Maizuru Bay, north of Kyoto, Japan, claiming the lives
of approximately 550
Japan has long concealed the truth about the incident. Nevertheless, data and collected information on the incident indicate that the explosion was a plot concocted by the Japanese military leadership in an attempt to destroy its dark records on and atrocities against those Korean victims and survivors. The picture tells the truth.
This incident had been filmed in Japan in 1995 under the tile
Blue—the Ukishima-Maru Incident by a Japanese civic
group. In north Korea, the story was novelized.
On June 29, a theater in Hong Kong witnessed consuls from both north
and south Korea, media reporters, movie producers and buyers from
different parts of the world, seeing the north Korean movie
altogether. A reporter for the south Korean monthly
a national reunification-oriented magazine, quoted the president of a
Hong Kong-based movie trader as saying:
We have received orders
already from three Japanese companies and, of course from South Korea,
This picture is more than just an entertainment movie. I
am going to take measures so that it may be distributed widely among
Asian nations because it is valuable as a historical fact teller,
said the first coordinator and agent in Asia to distribute the
DPRK-made film to the rest of the world.
Earlier, in an interview with PK’s Pyongyang correspondent, the
director of the sensational picture Kim Chun Song, who had repatriated
to the DPRK from Japan, said:
We did not make this film for the
purpose of imbuing our people with anti-Japanese feelings. We produced
it in a bid to inform many people of what had happened to our fellow
countrymen in the past.
In fact, a number of north Korean historians and researchers cooperated with the scenario writer in his effort to further probe into the historical fact and collect all the relevant information available before this half-documentary film was completed.
This film does not exaggerate the historical facts at all, Kim
We are very happy and pleased to have made it.
hope that this film will be a help for Koreans and non-Koreans as well
to increase their understanding of the untold history of Korean
sufferings. It would also help Japanese draw a lesson from their
history not to repeat the same history, he added.