The Interview’s last hope for comedic redemption dangles in hydrogen balloons high in the air space over North Korea, where many of the 100,000 DVD and USB copies of The Interview will likely be blown to pieces by anti-aircraft fire when they blissfully float across the Koreas’ North-South border without proper documentation and diplomatic clearance. Not likely what Sony Pictures had in mind for a marketing strategy, but what a way to celebrate breaking even on The Interview’s initial $44 million budget.
Make a toast and clink the glasses, now let’s don aluminum foil hats and hope for the North Korean government to be toppled by its citizens after The Interview enlightens them as to how bad they really have it. The stunt may be a symbolic gesture at best, but free speech activists and The Cinema For Peace Foundation hope to use The Interview to spark a debate among the North Korean populace… since all that scrounging around in poverty must get really dull at times.
“We will start sending hydrogen balloons with DVDs of The Interview to North Korea, so that the people there can watch the movie [The Interview]. They can copy the movie and have their own impression if it’s a good or bad movie,” said foundation chairman Jaka Bizilj at a Berlin film festival press conference.
“Because for us, it’s not a question of whether it’s good or bad; no matter if you like something or not, you have to fight for freedom to exercise this art.”
Never mind that North Korea likely suffers from a dearth of film critics, or say, any critics at all. The average citizen would likely be scared to death to be caught with any surviving copies of The Interview that may have escaped target practice by the North Korean army. The subtitled content alone is unapologetically anti-supreme leader Kim Jong-un. The Interview could land one in prison or worse. Ask Jim Jong-un’s uncle what happens to enemies of the state.
If there’s a message behind The Interview’s use as a tool for freedom of speech advocacy, it comes across to me as absurdly comical as it is profusely sad, misguided, and hypocritical:
Here’s your free promotional copy of The Interview, North Korea! We sincerely hope that your electricity stays on long enough to operate that TV and DVD player you probably cannot afford, or that computer that would cost three months of your salary – if the government allowed you to have one at all. We’re sorry that many of us in the West think that The Interview is a complete stinker, but that’s for you to decide.
Freedom of speech, and all that. We’re sure you agree how few basic freedoms you all have. The Interview sorta talks about it. And please overlook when Sony sought to suppress freedom of speech by sending several threatening letters to news agencies like the New York Times to not report on the content of the Sony hack; or when Sony conspired with five other major movie studios to go along with the Motion Picture Association of America’s plan to pressure Google to ban listings of piracy sites without the public’s knowledge after the SOPA bill died in congress.
Sometimes we confuse freedom of speech with grossly negligent hypocrisy. And while we’re completely aware that at least 80 of you have been executed by your government for watching foreign films, this one is going to get you talking about freedom of speech like never before.
Oh, and did we mention that it stars Seth Rogen and James Franco? Never heard of them? Well, they’re quite funny in the beginning of The Interview but then the rest of the movie kinda falls apart after 20 minutes. But we feel it’s worth risking your life to watch, nevertheless. Freedom of speech! P.S. Did you happen to catch Sniper in our last air-drop? Once you have a fully-democratic government like ours in the West, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to shed all of your jingoistic habits. You’ll fit right in.
The Inquisitr reported on the campaign to break the personality cult surrounding North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in late December. Organizers say that the bulk of the 100,000 copies of The Interview would be delivered to an unspecified locale in South Korea by January 20. But the launch may be delayed until March when the winds would be more favorable. Whatever the case, launch details will be kept under wraps to protect activists from possible North Korean reprisals.
[Image via Sony Pictures]