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3rd Degree

Mockumentary sparks Korean spy controversy

Wednesday 10 Apr 2013 10:13 a.m.

It’s a bizarre story – a businessman living in Christchurch ousted by his own community for allegedly being a North Korean spy.

Eugene Chang says all he did was play a part in a movie on propaganda, made by a Kiwi filmmaker and it’s all a misunderstanding.

Now he’s the subject of top level investigations by the South Korean Government and the Catholic Church.

The film is an underground movie translated from Korean, harshly critical of life in the west and the so-called propaganda we are exposed to.

North Korean agents making a propaganda film in Christchurch sounds bizarre, event outlandish – could it be true?

Well no it’s not. The so-called spies are just the producer and actor in a mockumentary. But the consequences are very real.

To gain publicity, filmmaker Slavko Martinov concocted a preposterous back story. He wanted people believe the film was smuggled out of North Korea and that’s where Mr Chang comes in. He was hired as an actor to play the part of a communist agent.

Mr Chang is actually a pro-Western capitalist trying to start a truffle farm – ridiculously expensive delicacies for the very rich, which grow on roots of oak trees .

He has blown up the odd building in the West but that was when he worked as an explosives engineers in Northern England more than 12 years ago, before he came to New Zealand.

So why is he being treated so poorly?

Watch the video for Phil Vine’s full report.

Credits:

  • Reporter: Phil Vine
  • Producer: Phill Prendeville
  • Editor: Toby Longbottom

Since filming this story, 3rd Degree has received a response from the Korean Society of Christchurch expressing concern that the full story has not been told. They asked that the story not be screened.

A member of the Korean community of Christchurch has also contacted 3rd Degree about Mr Chang.

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