Lee Byung-woo’s string-rich score, with an entrancing flute marking the beginning and end, verges on the saccharine but provides the overt passion that largely remains hidden away in the principals’ inner souls.
A notable exception being Gong-gil’s powerful, hugely expressive last rant, where his love for Jang-saeng moves even the murderous King.
It is also the gripping story of how a member of the inner circle of this enigmatic country became its most courageous, outspoken critic.
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Driven by his passion to help the people of North Korea, Bae moves to neighboring China to lead guided tours into the secretive nation.
Six years later, after 18 successful excursions in and out of the country, Ken is suddenly stopped at the border: He inadvertently brought his hard drive, which reveals the true nature of his visits, to customs.