The Korean “Les Miserables”?

A google search on the title “Yoduk Story” will yield many hits like this article in the VOA News, which tells of North Korean writer/director Sung Jeong San’s efforts to produce a new musical about the cruelty found in a North Korean prison camp. “Yoduk Story” is named after a prison camp where North Koreans are sent for even minor political crimes – a name that resonates like “Auschwitz” for Korean audiences. While musicals are popular with South Korean audiences, they tend to favor escapist fare like “Grease” and “The Producers”; the director, meanwhile, envisions his story as a Korean version of “Les Miserables.” Here’s a link to another article about the same production, which opens tonight. Many stories mention how the young director had to pledge a kidney as collateral in order to borrow $20,000 from a loan shark in order to finance his production. Who says doing musicals doesn’t take guts?

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