Yodok Stories

2008, 82 min.

Yodok Stories (2008)

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Jerusalem IFF
First Prize in category “In the Spirit of Freedom”


Director Andrzej Fidyk
Cinematography Torstein Grude,
Marcin Koszalka,
Tore Vollan
Music Kyung Chan Cha,
Bartlomiej Wozniak
Producer(s) Torstein Grude


In North Korea, over 200,000 men, women and children languish in Nazi-style concentration camps, routinely subjected to torture, rape, beatings and starvation. Most, even young children, will never leave. One of the largest camps is Yodok. Against all odds, a handful of prisoners have escaped to freedom in prosperous South Korea, including accomplished theater director Jung Sung San. To bring their stories to light, Jung writes and produces a controversial Broadway-inspired musical based on life in the camps. A box office success, this tour de force proves heroic as the defectors confront their nightmarish past and present-day death threats. At once inspiring and darkly disturbing, Yodok Stories reveals the enduring potential for beauty and art to rise from the depths of human suffering.