Ahead of last year’s release of The Interview, the Seth Rogen film about two journalists instructed to assassinate Kim Jong-un, North Korea interpreted the film as ‘an act of war’. Sony Pictures were hacked by a group linked to North Korea and hundreds of humiliating titbits about spats between celebrities and Sony execs made public, most memorably the description of Angelina Jolie as ‘a minimally talented spoilt brat’. The film was first cancelled and then given a limited release. Kim Jong-un had the last laugh when the reviews came out, however. ‘About as funny as a communist food shortage, and just as protracted,’ said Variety.
What got lost in the backdrop to The Interview, though, was the significance of North Korea’s attitude towards cinema.