The Wall, a multi human rights award winning film, directed by David Kinsella from Northern Island, had the Australian premiere at the opening of the 2016 North Korean Human Rights week in Sydney hosted by the National Unification Advisory Council Australia, a peak Korean community organisation.
The opening was attended by a few hundreds people including Republic of Korea Ambassador to Australia, the Korean Consul-General, and a dozen of parliamentarians along with Korean Australian representatives.
The feature which will be released internationally in January next year illustrates that North Koreans are living life like puppets under the Kim Jong Un regime. It has acquired the best human rights movie award at the Galway International Film Festival in Ireland.
According to the mainstream media in Korea, the movie blows whistle against problems with politics that suppresses individuals’ rights, by comparatively presenting the life of a female poet who defects from North Korea with the life of a boy living in Belfast, Northern Island when it was in intense sectarian conflict.
The movie’s production process is similar to that of the documentary movie Under the Sun" by director VitalyMansky, which was released in Korea this year. While filming daily living of an 8-year-old girl after winning approval from the North Korean authority, Mansky discovered that all of the daily routines were fabricated, and decided to reveal the situation behind it.
The director David Kinsella wanted to make a real a documentary, but the government in North Korea brought in over 1000 extras to make Kinsella produce what they wanted: propaganda. Kinsella had to change his strategy.
Under pressure from the North Korean censor, he filmed in such a way that animation could be overlaid onto the images when he returned to Norway – and used to tell the real story. Understanding that in North Korea “all foreigners are spies and evil”, David Kinsella realised that he had also been told this as a boy growing up in Northern Ireland – and so he made a comparison between his own childhood in Belfast, and his North Korean adventure movie. Kinsella was reminded strongly of his childhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which was wrought with a feud between Protestants and Catholics who regarded followers of the other religion as “pure evil.”
He decided to incorporate scenes from his hometown into “The Wall” as well. What resulted was a film that is at once documentary, animation, fantasy and satire. It won Best Human Rights film award at the Galway International Film Festival in July. Another affront Kinsell will “never forget” is the blatant racism he experienced in the North, he said. “All foreigners are looked down on as silly stupid people that (the North Koreans) want to use to their advantage,” he said.
“I’d never felt so discriminated against in my life.” During one shocking dinner, Kinsella says he was told “not to lift his arms” as the film’s lead actress fed him pieces of barbecue. At the hotel, he would be presented each morning with “the most perfectly rolled omelet you’ve ever seen,” and food that was cooked to imitate European cuisine.