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Animated documentary-style videos on extraordinary Asian events.
Kento Bento — Research, script, narration, music, video editing, motion graphics, illustration storyboard
Charlie Rodriguez — Illustration
Elise Heersink — Motion graphics
How North Korea Held the Greatest Pro Wrestling Event in History
Pyongyang, 1995. The lone American made his way down a long, dingy hallway, past several North Korean officials. He was nervous, afraid of what was to come – not just because of the constant surveillance he was under, but the state of the entire country. You see North Korea was in the midst of a devastating famine, with hundreds of thousands of its citizens suffering and dying from starvation and illnesses. He didn’t know what to expect, but he was there for a reason, and he had a job to do. At the entrance, he got his cue, and with one final breath, he stepped out….. into what was a sea of humanity.
Now this wasn’t just any crowd. This was a 190,000 North Koreans who were conditioned to see Americans as evil, who did not know pro wrestling was staged, that it was predetermined and choreographed. And here was a man – a blond-haired American man – who embodied everything they were legitimately told to hate.
This man was the legendary Ric Flair, one of the greatest American professional wrestlers of all time, and at this moment he was wondering what he had gotten himself into.
Now this happened in April, 1995, but the events that led to this actually started 11 months earlier…
– Collision in Korea event
– Kim Il-sung’s death
– Kim Jong-il’s cult of personality
– Antonio Inoki & NJPW
– Politicians who wrestle
– Kane (Mayor Glenn Jacobs)
– Record attendance in world’s largest May Day stadium
– Eric Bischoff & WCW
– WWE / WWF
– Controversial Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia
– Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi consulate in Turkey
– Scott Norton’s interrogation
– North Korean wrestling legend, Rikidozan
– Muhammad Ali’s random guest appearance