Official Selection, 2018 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
“North Korean beer is so delicious!” When Korean American classical singer Shin Eunmi realizes a US passport will allow her to travel to North Korea, Eunmi takes the trip and writes a travelogue that becomes one of the most important cultural books in South Korea, even joining the government’s “Excellent Literature List.” That is, until the right wing media gets a hold of it.
After speaking to an audience of unification supporters in Seoul, Shin is summarily condemned as a pro-communist supporter of the North Korean dictatorship. Shin desperately tries to regain control of her story while a frenzy of protesters and reporters attempt to distort her every word. Before they have an opportunity to defend themselves, Shin and her husband become entangled in an escalating media maelstrom of attacks, both ideological and physical, that threaten their presence in their home nation.
Whereas popular discourse often criticizes North Korea’s authoritarian rule and its crushing response toward people who dare to speak out, director Kim Sangkyu’s riveting documentary boldly questions how far freedom of expression goes in South Korea, a nation still grappling with its own history of suppression in the name of anti-communism. As Shin Eunmi discovers, presenting a counter narrative not only risks violating South Korea’s national security laws, but also endangers her life and reputation. Ultimately, TO KILL ALICE is a cautionary tale that reveals the dangerous line between national loyalty and dissent.
– Malou Amparo
This screening is free. Please collect your free ticket at the box office.
Co-Presented by: UCSD Transnational Korean Studies