ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

The film North Korea previously labelled an 'act of war' will now be air dropped over the border-locked country en-masse, creating what will surely be history's first ever government-censored rain shower.

A coalition of anti-censorship activists - led by the humanitarian group Cinema for Peace - say they intend to bombard North Korea's land mass with 100,000 copies of Sony's previously banned movie The Interview.

The plan is to use hydrogen balloons to transport Seth Rogan-infused USB sticks and DVDs directly to the Korean people. Like Netflix, but worse.

Let the people watch what they want to watch

Jaka Bizilj, founder and chairman of the Cinema for Peace Foundation, spoke at a press conference on Monday, saying:

We will start sending hydrogen balloons with DVDs of The Interview to North Korea so that the people there can watch the movie. They can copy the movie and have their own impression if it’s a good or bad movie.

Cinema for Peace is not alone in its stand against the impeachment of freedoms. They also have the support of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, as well as South Korean activists, and even - reportedly - an individual currently based within North Korea.

The Interview sparked mass controversy late last year after hackers mounted a devastating cyber attack against the film's distributer, Sony Pictures. Thought to have originated in North Korea, the terrorist group behind the digital threats were outraged at the movie's comedic trivialization of the nation's beloved and deified leader, Kim Jong-un.

Too soon?

Some have expressed concerns over the safety of Korean residents, who may soon unwittingly be in possession of state-banned illegal goods. In an effort to protect civilians, the exact time and location of the air drop will be kept secret.

Bizilj warned:

The army will stop anyone even picking up a copy of the DVD.

Furthermore, doubts have been raised about the availability of consumer-grade technology in the developing nation, thereby potentially decreasing the effectiveness of the stunt. Computers and DVD players are commodities, not status quos.

Nevertheless, Bizilj has confirmed that the air drop will go ahead. It's not a case of if, but when.

'Look ma, the sky's falling...and it's made of mediocre comedy'

Sony hasn't done a bad job recouping their financial losses after being forced to pull the movie from theaters, reportedly pulling in over $30M in streaming revenue alone.

Despite the inflammatory debate surrounding freedoms of expression The Interview sparked, the film itself has been fairly ambivalently received in the West, scoring a decidedly middle-of-the-road 52% on Metacritic.

However, Jaka Bizilj asserts that the movie's quality is not the issue:

For us, it’s not a question of whether it’s good or bad; no matter if you like something or not, you have to fight for freedom to exercise this art.

I'm inclined to agree. Although there's a plethora of high-quality cinema I'd personally choose to air drop into the totalitarian country in place of The Interview, it's nonetheless important that its people are privy to the satirical media that provoked the initial outburst of offense in the first place.

What do you think? Should the film be made available to the North Korean people, or will this activist stunt kick up more of a fuss than it's worth?


Should the air drop go ahead?


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