“The Interview”

The upcoming film “The Interview” starring Seth Rogen has hit the media, and is causing serious contention between North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un and the United States government.

According to the Telegraph, North Korea is outraged by “The Interview.” Kim Myong-chol, the executive director of the Centre for North Korea-U.S. Peace and unofficial spokesman for Pyongyang was hostile in his denouncing of  “The Interview,” saying: “There is a special irony in the storyline as it shows the desperation of the U.S. government and American society…A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine…And let us not forget who killed (President John F.) Kennedy-Americans… In fact President Obama should be careful in case the U.S. military wants to kill him as well.” Kim Myong-chol also expressed his views that Hollywood movies are bland and unrealistic when compared to British films, explaining that “James Bond is a good character and those films are much more enjoyable.”  Kim Myong-chol also said that Kim Jong-Un, being the film buff that he is, will most likely watch “The Interview.” To which Rogen responded over twitter saying, “I hope he likes it!”  The Telegraph continues its discussion of “The Interview” by saying: “Previews of ‘The Interview’ have attracted mixed reviews, with some online commentators suggesting a comedy about murdering a genuine head of state is ‘distasteful’ and ‘extremely irresponsible.’”

This action-comedy is not like other movies that with cleverly hidden political views, instead “The Interview”  makes its political views quite blatant. In the movie trailer, characters portrayed by Seth Rogen and James Franco are given the chance to interview North Korea’s Great Leader, Kim Jong-Un, but have a hidden agenda. Rogen and Franco’s characters, Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapoport, are hired by the United States to assassinate him. Because the film is centered on an attempted assassination of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un (played by Randall Park), many worry that it will offend not only the North Korean people, but also their allies.

The website “Screen Rant” wrote about the reaction from North Korea, saying: “No one, not even Kim (Jong-Un), should actually take these guys as being representative of the United States government or its people.” “Screen Rant” also posed the question as to whether “The Interview” is an ill-advised production to be released at the moment, given current political tensions. Sony Pictures is doing all it can do to try and keep “The Interview” from igniting political tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. The studio is said to be digitally altering buttons worn by the characters in the film because the buttons depict actual paraphernalia worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leaders.

Many argue that the film should not be released. However, others say it should be released because the first amendment protects our freedoms of speech and of the press; a movie is a movie, and nothing more. The  views expressed in “The Interview” can be taken as dangerous to international relations as a whole. Although “The Interview” has a legal right to be made and released within the country, it should not be taken lightly. In North Korea’s eyes, the film is an example of passive-aggressive nationalistic hatred towards them. The fact that much of the movie is based on stereotypes instead of facts angers the North Korean people deeply.

The English daily newspaper,“The Pioneer,” commented that “The makers of the movie, including Rogen and Franco, should have considered its consequences more carefully. Freedom of speech is written into the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean that every book published and produced, or movie made does good for the country. If the producers had thought more about the worldwide effects of the film, and less about pleasing their own patriotic nation, they would probably feel guilty about the boiling pot of tension they have unknowingly, or maybe purposefully, stirred up.” Many people agree that the movie should not be produced at all because it will stir up tensions between American and North Korean.


by Michael Eckles

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