SEOUL: Deadly space laser aside, some South Koreans are finding another aspect of the latest James Bond flick hard to swallow – its depiction of neighbouring North Korea as a diabolically evil regime and the whole Korean peninsula as a backward underling to Western saviours.
Die Another Day attracted crowds at its Seoul premiere on New Year's Eve. But since then many South Koreans are siding with the communist North in panning the film, despite the nuclear standoff that has recently boosted tensions between the countries.
The latest 007 has even spurred a budding boycott movement.
“I don't want to see a movie where North Korea is depicted as a menace to peace on the Korean Peninsula and the United States is depicted as a hero that resolves the crisis,'' said Jin-young Park, a 22-year-old university student waiting in line for a different picture yesterday at a Seoul cinema.
In the movie, Bond, allied with South Korean operatives, is sent to intercept a crazed North Korean officer, Col Moon, who is planning an invasion of South Korea and then Japan. Bond is eventually captured, imprisoned and tortured in communist North Korea.
Later, North Korea uses a satellite-based laser beam to burn a swath through the demilitarised zone separating the Koreas.
The movie, starring Pierce Brosnan as agent 007, also depicts a US intelligence official ordering the mobilisation of the South Korean army and an outdated scene of Koreans using a cow to till fields. Bond also has sex in a Buddhist temple.
Yesterday, a South Korean civic group announced plans to launch a boycott campaign at some 140 cinemas nationwide where the film is shown.
The complaints nearly echo those North Korea made before the film's debut.
North Korea's media has also called on the United States to stop screening the film, saying the 20th James Bond feature slanders the isolated communist state. – AP
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