Extended Audio Sample

Download A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictators Rise to Power, by Paul Fischer Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Fischer Narrator: Stephen Park Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $22.50 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

Before becoming the world’s most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-hee (Madam Choi)—South Korea’s most famous actress—and her ex-husband Shin Sang-ok, the country’s most famous filmmaker. 

Madam Choi vanished first. When Shin went to Hong Kong to investigate, he was attacked and woke up wrapped in plastic sheeting aboard a ship bound for North Korea. Madam Choi lived in isolated luxury, allowed only to attend the Dear Leader’s dinner parties. Shin, meanwhile, tried to escape, was sent to prison camp, and “re-educated.” After four years he cracked, pledging loyalty. Reunited with Choi at the first party he attends, it is announced that the couple will remarry and act as the Dear Leader’s film advisors. Together they made seven films, in the process gaining Kim Jong-Il’s trust. While pretending to research a film in Vienna, they flee to the United States Embassy and are swept to safety. 

A nonfiction thriller packed with tension, passion, and politics, A Kim Jong-Il Production offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea’s history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today. 

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Paul Fischer captivatingly tells perhaps the most extraordinary tale from the world’s most bizarre country. A Kim Jong-Il Production is simply flabbergasting!”

    Paul French, author of the New York Times bestseller Midnight in Peking

  • “In A Kim Jong-Il Production, Paul Fischer defrosts a Cold War story almost too wild to believe, an epic love story that reveals in technicolor the North Korean hermit kingdom and its movie-obsessed, improbably charismatic late leader. This book is unputdownable.”

    Benjamin Wallace, author of the New York Times bestseller The Billionaire’s Vinegar

  • A Kim Jong-Il Production is the true story of desperate movie stars, daring escapes, and the paranoid leader who brought it all together. Equal parts history, thriller, and farce, Fischer’s masterful reporting will keep you engrossed until the very end.”

    Matt Baglio, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Argo

  • “North Korea is a nightmarish movie theater without an exit in this gripping true-life thriller.…Fischer’s entertaining narrative paints an arresting portrait of a North Korean ‘theater state,’ forced to enact the demented script of a sociopathic tyrant.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Exhaustively researched, highly engrossing chronicle of the outrageous abduction of a pair of well known South Korean filmmakers by the nefarious network of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2015
  • A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Nonfiction
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 for Nonfiction
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations