Movies about North Korea have been a feature on the nightly news lately, mostly because of the media uproar over “The Interview” from Sony Films. But here’s a real-life documentary produced as a senior college project at University of Hawaii-– “Life As A North Korean Defector” –– from filmmaker Tommy Driskill.
Donate now through Book Bank USA to support Mr. Driskill’s North Korean documentary efforts by making a donation to “Friends of North Korean Defector Documentary” via the Book Bank USA web page.
Tommy explains it best… “In 2011 I went to North Korea, one of the most reclusive and oppressed countries in the world. I experienced what most outsiders would consider unfathomable (conditions). Through working with three defectors and befriending them, I’ve listened to their stories, and have taken it upon myself to make a change for the 25 million who still suffer under the dictatorship.”
The defectors featured in Tommy’s first documentary include the inspiring stories of a young man who escaped through China and Thailand, of a former North Korean prison guard whose family was locked up, and of Yeonmi Park, a young woman who has become one of the most outspoken defectors from the communist country.
“They all bitterly hate North Korea,” adds Driskill. “And they want to help start a movement that will eventually end in the collapse of the Kim regime. I’m going to do everything I can to help them tell their story so that people around the world can know what is going on.”
A Honolulu TV producer at WBFD requested that Tommy Driskill return to Seoul to produce more material for his first documentary. Because of that suggestion, Tommy is now working on a second documentary that will spotlight a North Korean artist –– Song Byeok — who paints satirical Kim regime portraits.
Tommy says, “His most notable piece is a painting of Kim Jung’il’s head on top of Marilyn Monroe’s body. It immediately became apparent to me that I needed to do a second and far more important documentary just on Mr. Song’s life because he tells the huge and terrible story of both repression and prison camps in North Korea that are still in tact today along with the total insanity that is taking place there in disregard for human rights. Mr. Song had turned against the Kim regime and fled.
“He was captured and imprisoned,” says Driskill, “but managed to escape and swim across a river to China with his father. However, his father subsequently drowned. Mr. Song and I decided together that I will direct a feature length documentary showcasing Mr. Song’s life and expose the atrocities of the Kim regime. I’m now in the process of raising funds to support our budget.”
Please donate now through Book Bank USA to support Mr. Driskill’s North Korean documentary efforts by making a donation to “Friends of North Korean Defector Documentary” via the Book Bank USA web page.