A Review of the Yoduk Story Musical, by a Former Political Prisoner in the 14th Camp

[imText1]I watched Yoduk Story, the musical, on the 24th. When I was encouraged to see it, I worried a lot that I would doze off or be bored during the performance, because I can scarcely feel a normal human’s emotions.

However, it was a groundless concern.

The real situation in North Korea’s political prison camps is much more terrible than what the South Korean people can imagine. Although they watch Yoduk Story, they cannot understand fully and they see just the tip of the iceberg. People just looked like they were praising the performance of Yoduk Story for its cultural aspects.

When I look back the life in the camp, South Korean-style singing and dancing is absolutely impossible there. [He is referring to a scene in which Lee Tae Shik, a character in the musical, sings songs with children spending their time in the camp.]

However, it was dramatized in that way in order to get the attention of the South Korean people.

In practice, as you see in the musical, kids like “Yoduk” (the son of the heroine, born in the Yoduk camp) are still being born, living and growing up as children of political prisoners – and also getting old as prisoners carrying on a family line until they die in the camp.

The staff and affiliates of Yoduk Story did a great job and I can see they did their best to produce this musical. However, I felt something lacking about the South Korean version of reality, in which people do not believe that much more terrible, horrible and gruesome things than those depicted in Yoduk Story are being committed in North Korea. It is also a pity that they need this dramatized form of performances, adapted to the South Korean people, to make people understand the North’s reality.

I expect that people’s interest in North Korean human rights will rise through Yoduk Story.

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