“Camp 14: Total Control Zone” is one of the most profound documentaries I have ever seen. Since watching it yesterday on my friend’s smart phone, I am still questioning the humanity of people. I ponder how awful it might have been if I had been forced to live there in that camp. I am tremendously blessed to be living in America. I thank God! However, it was all so very disturbing last night. While sleeping I had a terrible nightmare about this story. I have read and seen many documentaries about genocide and the Holocaust during World War II. That was all horrific, but this story pushes things to the next level of hell. This young man, Shin Dong-hyuk, was born and raised in the camp and barely survived there until he was 23 years old. According the author of this documentary, Christopher Campbell, Trailer: “Camp 14: Total Control Zone” is the Best Prison Camp Escape Doc Since “Little Dieter Needs to Fly”. “Christopher Campbell has been a professional film blogger since 2005, writing news and criticism for such outlets as Cinematical (AOL), First Showing, Pajiba, Screen Rant, The Reeler, Spout (Indiewire) and MTV News. He is presently a contributor to Moviefone, Screen Crush and Fandango’s Movies.com, for which he writes a documentary column.”
“Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Kaechon #14, one of the world’s harshest labor camps. His parents were political prisoners, declared enemies of the state for having committed minor offenses against the North Korean regime. Shin was routinely subjected to torture and knew nothing of the outside world until his escape at the age of 23.”
“Today he is on a mission to tell the world his story. And to remind us of the estimated 200,000 other forced laborers currently languishing under the regime of Kim Jong-un.” (“I escaped a North Korean prison camp” – Shin Dong-hyuk’s Survivor Story, Todd Krainin | December 2, 2012,)
In the documentary by Christopher Campbell, a couple of ex-prison guards that had escaped all the madness in this hell camp shared their stories. One of them said that he was between 20 to 21 years of age, and he felt like he was flying high and had a lot of power because he could kill, beat, and torture anyone he desired. If he liked a woman, he could take her home and use her. He also mentioned that the guards would rape and sometimes impregnate the women. He remembered a situation when a young woman had gotten pregnant by the guard, her stomach was big, and the guard hung her up and beat her and the baby to death. Another guard stated that the prisoner’s had no worth at all such like a worm on the ground. These few guards escaped to South Korea, and said they now feel remorse for their behavior and are filled with severe guilt. The crazy thing about the whole situation according to the documentary, the prisoner’s and guards in the camp were all so brain washed by the regime. North Korean people can’t worship God, Buda, Allah, etc…they are forced to worship Kim Jong-il and now his son Kim Jong-un! For instance, one guy in the camp took part of a newspaper with a picture of the leader on it and rolled it with Tobacco to make a cigarette, well, he was severely beaten for not respecting the North Korean Leader.
Shin Dong-hyuk had a very painful life in the camp. One day he over heard his Mother and brother talking about escaping from the camp. He was so afraid because of being excessively programmed in the camp to turn against one’s family. Ultimately, he did turn them in and reported it to his teacher. Because of this, he was also taken away for months and put in a cell to be beaten and burned. The day he was removed from the cell, the guards brought him to the front of the crowd to watch the execution of his Mother and brother. He mentioned that at the time, he thought they deserved it. Now, all the memories haunt him. Everyone in the camp was psychological and physical abused and tortured. One girl had stolen a couple of grains of wheat/rice in her pocket because she was so hungry, and then was beaten to death.
Here is another news story about Shin Dong-hyuk on “60 Minutes”. Anderson Cooper Reports: (North Korean prisoner escaped after 23 brutal years) Born in a prison camp, Shin Dong-hyuk describes how three generations of a family are incarcerated if one family member is considered disloyal. (“60 Minutes”, CBS, December 2, 2012 4:42 PM)
Now I understand why North Korea is so cruel to animals because look at how they treat their own people. My cats live like royalty compared to the people in “Camp 14”! One ex-guard divulged that they treated the people in the camp like flies, easy to kill and extinguish. It’s completely horrendous how human beings can be worth so little to other human beings, but the fact is God loves each and every one of us so much.
Please everyone; check out this documentary “Camp 14: Total Control Zone” on Netflix. If you think life is tough in America, it will change your perspective on everything. It makes me feel so lucky to be living in a free country such like the United States!