February 21, 2024

North Korea, darkness risible: The ironies of Sonygate

'Interview' hacking scandal has all the makings of a Hollywood flick, except the villain may be innocent

As a movie plot it would be gripping, if far-fetched. A rising young comic, who happens to be Canadian, makes a film for a major Hollywood studio, which happens to be Japanese-owned. The film satirizes a named real-life dictator, who – spoiler alert! – meets an explosive end.

The regime in question threatens blue murder at such lèse-majesté. But it is forever blustering, so nobody pays much heed. Weeks before the film’s release, the studio responsible is hacked – to devastating effect. Several forthcoming films (but not the offending one) are uploaded on the internet along with embarrassing internal emails, salary details and other confidential data.