Since it mysteriously appeared on YouTube on July 18, 2012, ‘Propaganda’ has been described as ‘1984 meets The Blair Witch Project’, ‘A mouthful of scary porridge’, and ‘Even better than Triumph of The Will.’
It topped Indiewire’s top 10 films to watch out for at IDFA, where it had its world premiere. This was followed by The Independent declaring it ‘the real viral hit of 2012’ and Films for Action rating it their Number One film for 2012. So far, the film has been translated in to six languages.
Controversial to the core, ‘Propaganda’ is part of an ongoing international incident involving the Australian Federal Police, the South Korean Embassy in New Zealand, the Catholic Church, the Counter-Terrorism Unit in Christchurch and the Korean Society, which has publicly accused the filmmakers of being North Korean agents.
From “Sabine”: 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.
I have translated this film, laid in the English voice over and subtitles, and on legal advice have blurred the identity of the presenter and/or blacked out certain elements.
6:54 Creating Ideas & Illusions
25:00 Beware the 1%
28:10 Emulating Psychosis
31:21 Rewriting History
41:15 The Birth of Propaganda
45:49 Cover Ups and Omissions
1:01:50 International Diplomacy
1:14:36 The Cult of Celebrity
1:35:00 The Revolution Starts Now
Please share and discuss with as many people as you can, and if you have questions for me or want to discuss the content further, please do so below or go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Propagandafilm/427263763965283
CORRECTION (from the translator of the film, Sabine): “For the record, I made a mistake when I translated the film. In the film it refers to ’38m homeless’ instead of 3.8 because I left out the . and I also failed to pick up the mistake when the voice over was recorded. Not my best work…”