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A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power by [Fischer, Paul]
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A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: There was a time when the duo of Shin Sang-Ok and Choi Eun-Hee seemed unassailable. Shin was the extraordinarily successful South Korean movie director and producer; his beautiful wife Choi was his top star and muse, a woman who had elevated herself from a difficult early life to become the envy of men and women alike. From the late 50s until the early 70s, the duo ruled—but divorce, scandal, and diminishing star power brought them back to earth. Little did they know, it was about to get much, much worse. Paul Fischer’s A Kim Jong-Il Production is the bizarre and fascinating true story of Shin and Choi’s kidnapping by Kim Jong-Il, future Supreme Leader of North Korea (at the time he was son to the then-Supreme Leader). Shin and Choi, who were kidnapped in 1978, went on to make a number of films in North Korea (as the “guest” of Kim Jong-Il) before escaping to the U.S. in 1986. There’s a Through the Looking Glass feel to this book, despite it being extremely well-researched and believable, that makes it highly entertaining reading. I had a difficult time putting this book down until I was finished. – Chris Schluep

Review

“The 1978 abductions of the South Korean actress Choi-Eun-hee and her ex-husband, the director Shin Sang-ok, in Hong Kong is the true crime at the center of Paul Fischer's gripping and surprisingly timely new book.” ―The New York Times

“An entertaining new book…details how [Shin and Choi] finally seized their chance to seek asylum…A stupefying, novelistic read.” ―The Boston Globe

“Gripping… A Kim Jong-Il Production tells the absurd, harrowing, and true story of Choi and Shin's ordeal, which reveals the importance of film as propaganda to the North Korean regime.” ―Esquire.com

“In his exhaustively researched new book, A Kim Jong-Il Production, Paul Fischer has uncovered a story about a film producer who would make any Sony exec look warm and fuzzy…” ―Details Magazine

“Nonfiction nail-biter…” ―Vulture.com

“That a North Korean dictator should kidnap two South Korean movie stars and force them to make films he hoped would rival Hollywood seems the stuff of fantasy. But it isn't, Kim Jong-Il did and Paul Fischer captivatingly tells perhaps the most extraordinary tale from the world's most bizarre country. A Kim Jong-Il Production is simply flabbergasting!” ―Paul French, author of The New York Times bestseller Midnight in Peking

“The incredible tale of how a dictator's obsession with the cinema led to one of them most hair-brained schemes ever concocted: to kidnap a famous South Korean director and his star actress and force them to make movies that would inspire his flagging nation. Kim Jong-Il failed to realize, however, that movies--especially good ones--have a pb ower all their own and that real life rarely follows a script. A KIM JONG-IL PRODUCTION is the true story of desperate movie stars, daring escapes, and the paranoid leader who brought it all together. Equal parts history, thriller, and farce, Fischer's masterful reporting will keep you engrossed until the very end. ” ―Matt Baglio, coauthor of The New York Times bestseller ARGO: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most Audacious Rescue in History

“In A Kim Jong-Il Production, Paul Fischer defrosts a Cold War story almost too wild to believe, an epic love story that reveals in Technicolor the North Korean hermit kingdom and its movie-obsessed, improbably charismatic late leader. This book is un-put-downable.” ―Benjamin Wallace, author of the New York Times bestseller The Billionaire's Vinegar

“Exhaustively researched, highly engossing chronicle of the outrageous abduction of a pair of well-known South Korean filmmakers by the nefarious network of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. Filmmaker Fischer carefully presents a well-documented story of the kidnapping ... A meticulously detailed feat of rare footage inside the DPRK's propaganda machinery.” ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“North Korea is a nightmarish movie theater without an exit in this gripping true-life thriller ... Fischer's entertaining narrative paints an arresting portrait of a North Korean "theater state," forced to enact the demented script of a sociopathic tyrant.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Fischer matches keen cinematic analysis with an unusually cogent and vivid brief history of the two postwar Koreas. The most compelling facets of this book of astonishments are Fischer's insights into the relationships between Choi, Sun, and their diabolical captor... Gripping and revelatory, Fischer's true-life thriller provides a portal into the mad tyranny of North Korea.” ―Booklist (Starred Review)

“Paul Fischer's book A Kim Jong-Il Production is a highly illuminating deep dive on the middle Kim's cinematic obsessions and the film arms race between the two Koreas.” ―The Washington Post


Product details

  • File Size: 4186 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books (February 3, 2015)
  • Publication Date: February 3, 2015
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NS3NBY8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,046 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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