The Aquariums of Pyongyang to be Turned into a Movie

[imText1]The testimony “Song of a Political Prison Camp (the Zeitgeist),” which depicts Kang Cheol Hwan’s 10 years in a North Korean prison camp, is to be made into a movie.

With the title, “The Aquariums of Pyongyang,” taken from the book of the same name, written by Kang Choel Hwan and Pierre Rigoulot, the movie will be co-produced by South Korea and the U.S. and is slated for release next July.

The movie will feature human rights abuses, love of family, friendship, the division of Korea, and others according to the first-hand experience of Kang Cheol Hwan in the Yoduk Camp.

Kang said in a telephone interview with Daily NK that “Although my stories do not show what is happening in the completely-controlled zone of the North Korean political prison camps, I believe it is a significant opportunity to unveil the true nature of North Korean prison camps.”

He added, “I hope that the movie producers put the testimonies of other former prisoners into the movie, so the unimaginable stories that happen in North Korea’s political prison camps can be seen throughout the world.”

An affiliate with a production company in Seoul, Cinema&I, revealed that “The movie will be a touching one that depicts the real life of a political camp. I am expecting it to be the first hit movie co-produced between South Korea and Hollywood.”

Richie Shim of Cinema&I is taking part in the production of the movie and Kevin Cooper, script coordinator on Armageddon (1998), is also co-producing it.

Upon the completion of casting, in October, shooting will begin.

The author of the Aquariums of Pyongyang Kang Choel Hwan was forcefully sent to the National Security Agency and then imprisoned in the Yoduk Camp located in Yoduk, South Hamkyung Province in 1977 for the treason of his grandfather, who was Korean-Japanese.

After 10 years’ imprisonment, he was released from the camp and succeeded in entering South Korea in 1992. Now, he is the Vice-President of the Committee for Democratization of North Korea.