A Kim Jong-Il Production

  • by Paul Fischer
  • Narrated by Stephen Park
  • 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Before becoming the world's most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea's Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi) - South Korea's most famous actress - and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country's most famous filmmaker.
Madam Choi vanished first. When Shin went to Hong Kong to investigate, he was attacked and woke up wrapped in plastic sheeting aboard a ship bound for North Korea. Madam Choi lived in isolated luxury, allowed only to attend the Dear Leader's dinner parties. Shin, meanwhile, tried to escape, was sent to prison camp, and "re-educated". After four years he cracked, pledging loyalty. Reunited with Choi at the first party he attends, it is announced that the couple will remarry and act as the Dear Leader's film advisors. Together they made seven films, in the process gaining Kim Jong-Il's trust. While pretending to research a film in Vienna, they flee to the U.S. embassy and are swept to safety.
A nonfiction thriller packed with tension, passion, and politics, A Kim Jong-Il Production offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea's history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today.


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Customer Reviews

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Just an amazing book! For those (like me) who have a narrow understanding of Korea, this book is a great introduction to the lives of Choi Eun-Hee and Shin Sang-Ok. But interwoven into the story of "Madam Choi" and her husband are revealing peeks into the DPRK.
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- bob.oneill

Absolutely terrifying

The book is fascinating and well narrated, but I am shell-shocked. It's not just the heartbreaking story of Madame Choi and Shin Sang-Ok. Though I am appalled by the way their lives and those of so many others were so tidily snatched away by that despicable despot. My heart really goes out to the ordinary citizens who are held captive and controlled every day of their lives in that backward country. How can this stuff go on? Because you know it does. Excuse me while I go kiss the ground again.
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- Karen Weisneck

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-03-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio