Propaganda Meets 'The Interview': Watch What's on the DVDs Being Dropped Into North Korea (Exclusive Video)
THR has obtained the footage, which begins with five minutes of a North Korean government film before suddenly switching to 12 minutes of the Sony release.
On April 15, the birthday of deceased North Korean "Eternal President" Kim Il Sung, a defector by the name of Park Sang Hak used balloons to airdrop 10,000 shortened versions of The Interview into the so-called Hermit Kingdom.
The videos, obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter (watch at the top of this article), begin with five minutes of a North Korean propaganda movie before suddenly switching to 12 minutes of The Interview.
The 12 minutes comprise parts of the beginning, middle and end of the film. The scenes were chosen by a group of defectors organized by Choi Jung Hoon, who was a North Korean soldier before defecting to South Korea. In retaliation for his defection, the North Korean regime executed his brother.
Before Park's massive balloon-drop (the biggest ever) of The Interview, Choi used more traditional, albeit secretive, methods to smuggle 800 copies of the shortened version of the movie into North Korea.
About 46 percent of North Koreans have access to a DVD player, and they are not illegal as long as they are used to play government-approved content — though The Interview doesn't come close to qualifying.
In fact, North Koreans risk incarceration, torture and even death to view or sell The Interview or other American media, but defectors report that many consider it worth the risk. The human-rights activists who smuggle in this sort of material are hoping to encourage defections and, eventually, a revolt against the Kim regime.