The upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy The Interview is making headlines for Sony Pictures these days, although not particularly good ones. The film depicts Rogen and Franco as reporters who are recruited by the U.S. government to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Koreas propaganda-dispensing news agency, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), has responded with anger, releasing statements such as Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated," and threatening that merciless counter-measure will be taken if the film were released. Recently Sony has been hit by an extremely damaging hack that has exposed the companys private communications, finances, and even confidential information regarding movie stars. It has been alleged that North Korea had something to do with the hacking, especially since the hackers have demanded that The Interview be shelved. They have denied involvement. If youre wondering why North Korea is so angry you need to understand just how seriously North Korea takes cinema. Kim Jong-uns father, Kim Jong-il, was a lifelong devotee to film and movies have been used extensively in North Korea for propaganda purposes. However, North Koreas obsession with film has to be detailed to believe. The following seven examples might seem incredibly implausible, but all reflect how seriously North Korea takes movies.
Chris McKittrick is a published author of fiction and non-fiction and has spoken about film and comic books at conferences across the United States. In addition to his work at WhatCulture!, he is a regular contributor to CreativeScreenwriting.com, MovieBuzzers.com, and DailyActor.com, a website focused on acting in all media. For more information, visit his website at http://www.chrismckit.com.