The Interview

Rarely has a film release been accompanied by such politically charged crossfire as Seth Rogen’s “The Interview“. Allegedly, North Korean hackers infiltrated Sony’s network and are said to have threatened attacks if the film was released, and the NSA allegedly paralysed the North Korean internet as a result. The only thing that is certain is that Sony initially put the release of the film on hold and it is also certain that the American president personally declared in his Christmas address that it was the patriotic duty of Americans to see the film in the few cinemas that did show it patriotically.

Did any of this – apart from the Christmas speech – actually happen or was it just a brilliant PR coup by Sony? We don’t know.

In any case, the film was released in Germany on 5 February 2015 and the crossfire entered the next round. The Berlinale was “asked” with allegedly “martial words” (according to Spiegel Online) not to show the film. The fact that the Berlinale had no intention of doing so apparently played no role.

On the occasion of this film release, the great weekly newspaper “Der Freitag” ran a very informative and pleasantly unagitated special on North Korean imagery, for which I was able to write a short article about the Massgames, along with a little insight into how North Koreans see themselves, exemplified by two photos. Perhaps that gives a little context to all the PR bluster…

Publication in the "Freitag" magazine

Links to the pdfs of the two articles here and here

Link to the articles on the Friday website

Interview (symbolic picture), photo „Diktiergerät“ by Stephan Röhl for Heinrich Böll Stiftung unter CC BY-SA 2.0