Andreas Rossbach is a Moscow-based freelance writer, fixer and translator. He is fluent in English, Russian, German and Italian. He is covering breaking news, politics and human rights in Russia and former Soviet countries. His works have been published in media like the Moscow Times, Zeit Online, the Independent and BBC.
Experts estimate that since Kim Jong-un has come to power, the number of ‘Work Brigades’ has risen to more than 60,000. While in North Korea they are lured with a promise of high wages and glory for their families. Once enrolled, they fi nd themselves in very foreign countries. Here they work up to 12 hour days, under harsh conditions, for little pay. Their ‘wages’ are transferred directly to the government, who reallocate it as they see fit. They live under constant surveillance by Korean agents and local supervisors, and their contracts last for years. The film relies on limited footage from ‘Work Brigades’ camps in Poland, Russia, Mongolia and South East Asia. These will give us a sense of the scope of the operation. We will also include interviews and testimonials from those working in the ‘Brigades’ as well as some who have escaped. These images will often be blurred and voices altered in order to protect the workers and their families who remain in North Korea.