The Defector: Escape from North Korea provides a haunting first-person glimpse of what it’s like for someone trying to escape North Korea.
A site serves as a companion to a feature-length documentary film of the same name, directed by Ann Shin. The online component launched in advance of the documentary, which premiered at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam.
The stories on the site are based on true accounts of six North Korean defectors that bring viewers through prisons, jungles and crowded streets as they try to escape. As a voiceover explains what’s happening, viewers are given the option to watch additional videos and view photos about what it’s like to defect before continuing through seven chapters of content.
The site uses actual images and hidden camera videos from within North Korea, not to mention interviews from defectors, to illustrate the dangers they experienced at every moment.
“It was challenging to make something like this into a web project because of the scarcity of visuals and assets,” said Shin. “We had dozens and dozens of interviews with defectors and footage smuggled out of North Korea to work with.”