We are still catching up on some of the great films that we released over the summer on Cultpix, including "Pulgasari" (1985), the North Korean take on the Godzilla movies. The fact that Kim Jong-il, the dictator of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (to give it its proper name) should decide to contribute to the Kaiju genre is incredible enough, but to do so he kidnapped South Korea's most famous film couple.
We talk to the authors of the book "All Monsters Must Die: An Excursion to North Korea" (House of Anansi Press, 2015) Magnus Bärtås and Fredrik Ekman about the kidnapping of the great South Korean movie star, the actress Madame Choi, and her ex-husband, the famous film director Shin Sang-ok. They were reunited in North Korea and put to work making propaganda films, to help win the people's hearts with melodrama. Eventually they escaped to the West, though neither could return to live fully normal lives.
The most significant of the films they made in North Korea was based on the Korean legend of Pulgasari, a monster that eats iron to grow and help peasants overthrow an evil tyrant. While it is an amazing film in its own right, it is the story behind it that is even more incredible. This is a 'making of' that you will not want to miss.