LATEST VARIETY ARTICLE ON "ABDUCTION"
Preem date nabbed
Doc focuses on N. Korean kidnappings
By TIMOTHY M. GRAY
Gaga has set a Nov. 25 launch in Japan for the documentary "Abduction," which centers on a series of kidnappings that have remained a hot-button topic there for decades.
But after North Korea's nuclear bomb detonations last month, the events have taken on global implications that are, well, explosive.
The film centers on a 13-year-old Japanese girl who vanished on her way home from school in November 1977. As her family searched for her, it became clear that there were a dozen other kidnappings of Japanese people, conducted by North Korea. The families campaigned for the return of their relatives, not knowing if any of them were still alive. Doc reveals the strange motives behind the kidnappings as it explores the fates of the 13.
The abductions became a key campaign issue in the recent election of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In the past month, North Korea's treatment of foreigners has become a factor as other countries wrangle with its leader, Kim Jong-Il, over the nuclear issue. (Kim has given inadvertent publicity to the doc by putting the country more in the spotlight.)
"Abduction" gets its U.S. launch on Nov. 24 at the E Street Theater in D.C. The pic also bows Jan. 12 at the Cinema Village in New York.
The film was made by D.C.-based filmmakers Patty Kim and Chris Sheridan and exec produced by Jane Campion ("The Piano"). It was produced by Safari Media in association with the BBC, with Safari handling international rights.
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