June 09, 2023

Truth, Lies and Propaganda: The Hoax that Backfired

The fake North Korean propaganda film that led to a South Korean expat having his life turned upside down.

A South Korean man who narrated and acted in last years’ mockmumentary, Propaganda, has been shunned by the Korean community in his home town of Christchurch, New Zealand, over accusations that he is a North Korean sympathiser. According to a New Zealand media report, Eugene Chang and his wife Jean have been refused communion at their Korean Catholic church, and had to leave the board of trustees of their local Korean school after parents refused to send their children there while Chang remained involved in the film.

The mockumentary made waves in 2012 by appearing to have come from North Korea, and argued that the world is controlled by corporates who use consumerism, religion and pop culture to prevent people rising up against their corrupt rulers. North Korea was presented as the “glorious exception” and Mr Chang posed as a North Korean philosophy professor in the film. Excited debate ensued as to the film’s authenticity and origins.