The Untold Story Of Otto Warmbier
What Happened In North Korea? (Engl. Festivalversion)
ARD German TV. 45 Min., 2020
Winner Global Shorts, Los Angeles; Special Jury Award, Houston; Best Director Award, London; Best Documentary Special Mention, Rome; Best Political Film, Malta (u.a.)
On January 2, 2016, the US student Otto Warmbier from Cincinnati, Ohio, was arrested in North Korea, where he had travelled with a tourist group. What soon followed was a show trial with his theatrical confession, that he had tried to steal a Propaganda poster from a staff's hotel floor on behalf of the US government. He was sentenced to 15 years in a Labor camp. More that a year later the US doctor Mike Flueckiger and his pilot took off from a small airfield near Atlanta to get Otto rescued from Pyoengyang. The silent mission on a flight route that didn't even exist both succeeded and failed, since Flueckiger only found Otto in a hospital close to death due to severe brain injuries. Filmmaker Klaus Scherer of Germany's number one public network ARD, an award winning former news correspondent in Asia and the US goes after details and contradictions of the Warmbier case, ist torture charges and its political drifts in the powerfield between the rivals and self declared friends Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. There is no better way to tell the result than Flueckiger does at the end of the film: "Too many lies", he said. And did so in both directions.
Docs Without Borders Filmfestival, 07.03.2020