Propaganda is a bizarre film that presents itself as a North Korean documentary outlining the excesses of the West to the North Korean public—it touches upon everything from religion to reality television. Stranger still is the film’s backstory: Back in May, Youtube user Sabine began posting excerpts of the film along with her explanation of how she came across it. She claims North Koreans posing as defectors gave her the video and asked her to translate and post it (she says she is a professional translator). She goes on to say that she believes the North Koreans were actually working for their government and gave her the film so that it could be broadcast in the West. It is impossible to verify any of this, but nonetheless the film is quite an intriguing artifact. For more, see the film’s Facebook page and Sabine’s full statement:
Here is the formal statement I gave to Federal Police on 16 June 2012:
On a trip to visit family in Seoul in April, I was approached by a man and a woman who claimed to be North Korean defectors. They presented me with a DVD that recently came into their possession and asked me to translate it. They also asked me to post the completed film on the Internet so that it could reach a worldwide audience. I believed what I was told and an agreement was made to protect their identities (and mine).
Despite my concerns about what I was viewing when I returned home, I proceeded to translate and post the film on You Tube because of the film’s extraordinary content. I have now made public my belief that this film was never intended for a domestic audience in the DPRK. Instead, I believe that these people, who presented themselves as ‘defectors’ specifically targeted me because of my reputation as a translator and interpreter.
Furthermore, I now believe these people work for the DPRK. The fact that I have continued to translate and post the film in spite of this belief does not make me complicit in their intention to spread their ideology. I chose to keep posting this film because – regardless of who made it – I believe people should see it because of the issues it raises and I stand by my right to post it for people to share and discuss freely with each other.