Yodok Stories (2008): Docu about North Korean Defector

Andrzej Fidyks’ docu Yodok Stories is part of DocuWeek, presented by the International Documentary Association.

North Korean Great Leader Kim Il Sung ordered the seed of class enemies destroyed to the third generation. Anyone in a family with a “criminal” is considered guilty by association. Entire families are sent to labor camps with life sentences, and without court hearings. At present, more than 200,000 are imprisoned, subject to the worst kinds of slave labor and torture.

YODOK STORIES follows 36 year old North Korean defector, Jung Sung San, who has managed to escape through China to South Korea. Jung organizes a controversial musical theatre play about his experiences as prisoner in the concentration camp Yodok in North Korea. He inspires eight other refugees to recreate the past and despite death treats and many obstacles, the musical becomes a tour de force for this ensemble of refugees.

YODOK STORIES leads us close to the refugees, we participate in their private lives, and we listen to their dramatic stories. Their lives in Seoul are affected by financial difficulties and hostile South Koreans with a negative view on North Korea after years of propaganda.