From the producers of FRONTLINE, a series
of stories from a new generation of video journalists.
Stories From a Small Planet
ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE WORLD, three stories from
a small planet.
First, a report from the Middle East. As clashes on the West
Bank continue, journalists are coming under fire from the Israeli
NAEL SHYOUKI, Reuters: The moment they took positions,
they just start firing towards us.
DANNY SEAMAN, Israeli Press Officer: We try to educate
them that its unacceptable that journalists be beaten,
that the journalists be injured in any way.
ANNOUNCER: Next, a rare glimpse of life inside North
KOREAN MAN: You look like an American.
WILL DAWS, Producer: Thats not good here,
NORTH KOREAN MAN: Bloody bad imperialist bastard!
ANNOUNCER: And finally, what happens when poor kids
in India discover a hole in the wall with a computer inside?
SUGATA MITRA: The hole in the wall gives us a door
through which large numbers of children can rush into this
new arena. And when that happens, it will have changed our
Israel/Palestine: In the Line of Fire
Reported by Patricia Naylor
PATRICIA NAYLOR, Reporter: [voice-over]
I was working in Jerusalem when the second intifada broke out.
Im a Canadian TV journalist. This is a story that started
for me one day in 2001, when I drove into the heart of the West
Bank, to Hebron. Its a city of more than 150,000 Palestinians,
with a small enclave of 400 Jewish settlers guarded by Israeli
Tensions between the Palestinians and settlers have always
made this city extremely volatile. There were frequent clashes
between Palestinians, settlers, and the Israeli soldiers stationed
As I watched the scenes that would become the images that the
world sees on the evening news, I found myself also watching
the cameramen who take these pictures. Here many of them are
Palestinians working for international news agencies. Id
once worked with one of them, Mazen Dana, who was with the British
news agency Reuters, together with his partner, Nael Shyouki.
This time Dana was lucky, just a few cuts from flying glass.
After the clash ended, the cameramen told me they werent
always this lucky. They all had stories of coming under fire
from Israeli soldiers, of being hit with rubber bullets and
sometimes live ammunition.
PHOTOGRAPHER: All of the Palestinian here, journalists,
were injured by the soldiers and by Jewish settlers. [sound
of gunfire] Excuse me. Be careful!
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Amer Jabari said he had many rubber
bullets to his head. Hes the cameraman for ABC News. More
shots to his legs, shot three times in the arm.
Hazem Bader, a cameraman for Associated Press, said hed
had bullets to his leg, shot in his camera hand while filming.
And another day, soldiers turned on him, and his front teeth
were punched out.
Out of desperation, the cameramen told me, they made a pact.
Whenever one of them was being attacked, the others would film.
They offered to show me their private video collection, images
that rarely make the news.
NAEL SHYOUKI: Watch this.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: On this tape, the cameramen were being
harassed by Israeli settlers, some of them children. They tried
to stop them from filming.
On another tape, the cameraman for French television defended
himself against Israeli settlers. Mazen Dana started filming
the attack. Things got worse. Dana turned his camera back on
to record the cameraman being loaded into an ambulance. He had
been beaten unconscious.
When the current intifada began in the fall of 2000, the cameramen
said, the attacks became more frequent. Mazen Dana was shot
two days in a row.
But of all the videotaped shootings, the one I found most disturbing
was Nael Shyoukis from 1998, before the current intifada.
On this night, Israeli settlers in Hebron marched down Palestinian
streets. Soldiers forced them home. When the streets fell quiet,
the cameramen stood on the sidewalk, making plans to leave.
NAEL SHYOUKI: This is the moment when the soldier comes
to shoot. Thats when Im shot. First this one. First
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Lying on the ground, he was shot a
NAEL SHYOUKI: I felt, you know, dizzy. I couldnt--
the moment I was about to go down, he shot me one more time
in my back. And it was very strong one.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The cameramen were shouting, "We
are journalists!" Finally, one cameraman managed to drag
him to safety. As they rushed him to hospital, others turned
on their cameras to document the soldiers at the scene.
Three years after he was shot, Shyouki took me to the scene
to show me where he was standing. He said that night, the soldiers
were less than 100 feet away.
NAEL SHYOUKI: And the moment they took positions, they
start firing towards us. Everybody hide, and start scream, "We
are journalists!" We spoke in Hebrew. We spoke in English.
Everybody. We shout a lot. I guess the whole mountain, this
mountain, heard our voice, everybody in this area, except these
soldiers. They didnt want to hear. They just kept shooting
and shooting and shooting.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: He told me eight journalists were shot
that night, including Mazen Dana.
MAZEN DANA: I [unintelligble] my camera. Im
trying to pull Nael. I have bullet here. So I came back here,
and I have bullet in my shoulder.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: They had been hit with rubber bullets,
which are used for crowd control. But these Israeli-made bullets
have a steel core. They can be deadly at close range.
NAEL SHYOUKI: [pulling up shirt] Thats
the metal, this thing.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: At the time of Shyoukis shooting,
Palestinian and Israeli journalists united in protest.
NAEL SHYOUKI: There were many voices asked for investigation.
And even the Israeli journalists, they came here in solidarity
with us, and they said, "Its a clear crime that the
army targeted a journalist.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Other Israeli journalists had their
own stories to tell. Photographer Avichai Nitzan is still haunted
by the words of the doctor.
AVICHAI NITZAN: Ill never forget that. He said,
"You were very lucky." The bullet stopped two millimeters
from the main artery to the legs. Had it gone in another two
millimeters, I would probably not be talking right now with
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Nitzan says the soldier didnt
realize he was Israeli.
AVICHAI NITZAN: I was standing with another five or
six Palestinian photographers. And the soldiers hate the Palestinian
photographers. For the soldier, I know from later, he told people
when they stopped him that he thought it was a Palestinian photographer.
And then he saw me being dragged over to his side. And then
he understood that I was of his own religion and served in the
same army as he did and had a girlfriend and stuff. So I think
thats when it hit him, because as long as it was an Arab,
he didnt really care.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The army immediately investigated and
concluded Nitzan had been reckless. He says the report was completely
inaccurate, and hes now suing the Israeli army.
When I returned to Jerusalem, I wanted to talk about the shootings
with foreign reporters. This is the building where international
television networks base their correspondents. In the offices
of TF-1, Frances public television, I found Bertrand Agierre.
He told me he was shot covering a rally in the West Bank city
of Ramallah. Agierre had just finished his report and the rally
was ending, when a soldier from the border police got out of
his Jeep and fired. A live bullet hit Agierre squarely in the
chest. He was only saved by his bulletproof vest.
Images of his shooting were broadcast around the world. The
Israeli government investigated and concluded there was not
enough evidence to act.
REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS SPOKESMAN: [news conference]
--for abusive and dangerous behavior by soldiers--
PATRICIA NAYLOR: There were so many shootings of journalists
that a French group, Reporters Without Borders, came to Israel
to hold a news conference. The group documented 40 shootings
of journalists in the first months of the intifada. Danny Seaman,
the Israeli official in charge of all foreign press, responded
to their report.
DANNY SEAMAN, Israeli Press Officer: [news conference]
Threats, injury or harm to members of the media, whether
intentional or by error, are unacceptable. The state of
Israel regrets any injury caused to journalists as a result
of actions by our forces or individuals within our forces.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: After the press conference, I met with
DANNY SEAMAN: We try to educate soldiers that its
unacceptable that the journalists be beaten, that the journalists
be injured, that they be abused in any way. To prevent every
one of these cases, were not going to be able to do that.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Seaman agreed to watch one shooting,
one hed never seen before, Nael Shyoukis.
DANNY SEAMAN: We dont see here where he was from,
who shot him. A lot of people have-- oh, geez! What hit him,
a bullet or a rubber bullet? Does anybody know? A rubber bullet.
Im sorry. Certainly, Im sorry, wish he didnt
have to go through this. But this I say personally, not as an
official person, because that always has other connotations
as a government-- I dont think anything I say is-- Im
sorry this had to happen to him. I wish it didnt have
to happen. I wish the circumstances werent such. I dont
think anything I say is going to make him feel better.
[www.pbs.org: Read the interview]
PATRICIA NAYLOR: [on camera] He says even an
DANNY SEAMAN: Yeah. I dont think he means my apology.
I know what he means. Maybe that will happen.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: [voice-over] That was all a
year ago. Since then, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has escalated.
Suicide bombers intensified their deadly campaign. The Israeli
army invaded most of the West Bank. Since the beginning of the
intifada, more than 600 Israelis and more than 1,700 Palestinians
Covering the conflict has become even more dangerous for journalists.
While filming a protest near Bethlehem, a BBC crew came under
BBC REPORTER: [voice-over] And then the army
turned their guns toward us as we filmed.
BBC CREW: OK. OK! Were going! Were going!
BBC REPORTER: More gunfire, even as we scrambled
for our car. Then we were pinned down. In the end, they
forced us to go on foot.
[www.pbs.org: Most dangerous places for journalists]
PATRICIA NAYLOR: An NBC crew was also shot at in Ramallah.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC Anchor: --NBC news vehicles
containing correspondent Dana Lewis.
DANA LEWIS, Correspondent: Israeli soldiers stepped
out in front of us, opened fire on the front of the vehicle,
bullets hitting the windshield, the front grill. We stopped,
turned on the light inside so he could see we were journalists,
in case he didnt already know. We put up our hands--
10, 15 seconds of silence, and then he opened fire again.
TOM BROKAW, NBC Anchor: [Committee to Protect
Journalists ceremony] The personal perils of this calling
PATRICIA NAYLOR: In the United States, the Committee
to Protect Journalists warns of "a growing animosity in
Israel toward the media" and has protested the shootings.
At their 20th anniversary ceremony in New York, they honored
Mazen Dana with the Press Freedom Award, recognizing that he
kept powerful images in the public eye despite great physical
risk to himself.
Several months later, I went back to Hebron to see Mazen Dana.
He was still working for Reuters, and he told me that while
filming Israeli bulldozers from inside this apartment building,
he was almost killed.
MAZEN DANA: I moved from here, going up to the stair
there, and they start shooting. The soldier in front of us,
they saw us clearly. Just I turn a little bit, I found the bullet
coming from here and entered the camera in between.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The bullet struck his camera, just
missing his head.
MAZEN DANA: Really, I thought that God give me a new
PATRICIA NAYLOR: Troubled by what Dana told me, I went
to see his boss in Jerusalem. Tim Heritage is the Reuters bureau
TIM HERITAGE, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Reuters: We have
an incident a week, probably, where someone gets shot at. We
routinely protest, dont really hear anything back from
the army. We demand investigations, dont really get very
PATRICIA NAYLOR: I ask him why he thinks this is happening.
TIM HERITAGE: Why are we being shot at? Because they
dont want us going places. They dont want us doing
things. They dont like us. They dont want-- theres
obviously a lot of things they dont want happening. They
dont want us getting into the war zone or whatever [unintelligible]
Im not sure its a deliberate policy or anything.
I dont know if other people suggest this to you, but I
think its just more haphazard, and theres a lack
of control. Theres a lack of-- theres a lack of
sense of being punished if you do it. And we regard it at Reuters
as, you know, a gross violation of media freedoms. I mean, these
are journalists going about their job and being prevented doing
PATRICIA NAYLOR: During all the time I reported this
story, I made numerous attempts to interview the Israeli army.
They refused to discuss the shootings. So I went back to talk
to Danny Seaman, the head of the Israeli press office. After
all the violence of the past year, I found his attitude had
DANNY SEAMAN: Im not worried about the press,
freedom of the press. If theres any limitations to it,
itll be restored. Any freedom can be restored. The lives
of Israelis cannot be restored.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: In times of war, Seaman says, press
freedom cannot be the top priority.
DANNY SEAMAN: Theres a war against the state of
Israel. Theres a war on the survival of the state of Israel
by the Palestinians. Theres no comparison between the
Palestinian uprising or violence of 12 years ago and whats
been going on in the past two years. The past two years has
been an assault against the state of Israel. Its combat.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: It has always been hard to report the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hard to tell both sides of this
bitter struggle. Now its going to be harder still, and
the toll on journalists has been profound.
Nael Shyouki has moved away from Hebron, to Bethlehem, where
there are no Israeli settlers and few clashes. He never did
get his apology.
Danny Seaman took away his press card, along with all the other
Palestinian journalists working in the West Bank.
NAEL SHYOUKI: Im stuck in Bethlehem, nowhere to
go. Im wasnt-- not free, like before. I used to
work in Jerusalem and one day in Tel Aviv, and go to Ramallah.
But thats not anymore. Youre stuck in one place
24 hours, all the time. You can only work in this place. You
cannot cover any other story outside.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: But for Mazen Dana, the loss is even
greater. He is no longer a cameraman. His bosses at Reuters
decided the only way to keep him safe was to take him off the
street. Hell be retrained as an editor.
MAZEN DANA: My family happy about this, but really,
Im not happy because I like camera and I like it here.
When I want to leave camera, I want to leave it by myself, not
to be forced to leave it.
PATRICIA NAYLOR: The group that recognized Danas
bravery, the Committee to Protect Journalists, says this battle
is only becoming more difficult to cover because the soldiers
are sometimes violent, and the Israeli government restricts
the media. Mazen Dana had no choice but to get out of the line
ANNOUNCER: Coming up later: India, a story of children
enchanted by a strange new machine. But first, North Korea,
a surprising journey across the DMZ.
North Korea: Suspicious Minds
Reported by Ben Anderson
BEN ANDERSON, BBC Television: [voice-over]
This is the last and oldest cold war frontline in the world. Its
the absurdly named Demilitarized Zone, one of the most heavily
armed places on earth.
AMERICAN GI: Checkpoint Bravos manned 24 hours
a day and regulates all traffic in and out of the Demilitarized
BEN ANDERSON: We took a tour from the south. We had
an American GI as our guide. This is the line thats divided
Korea since the end of World War II, when Russia occupied the
north, America the south. Both countries then put puppet regimes
in power. In 1950, after numerous incursions by both sides,
North Korea invaded the South. The ensuing Korean war lasted
three years and cost two million lives.
No peace treaty was ever signed, and technically, the two sides
are still at war.
AMERICAN GI: OK, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to
United Nations command checkpoint 3. On this ridgeline,
thats the northern boundary of the DMZ, which is approximately
2,000 meters from where were standing at right now.
Over here on the lefthand side of the treeline, youll
see what looks like some large white letters. OK, thats
actually a North Korean propaganda sign. Once translated
from Han-gul to English, it roughly states, "Our general
is the best general."
Now, if you look straight off from that, thats another
Korean sign. And roughly, that one says, "Yankee go home."
You see that radio tower?
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Yeah.
AMERICAN GI: Thats the city of Kaesong. And those
radio towers -- you can see three more over there -- theyre
actually jammers to block all of our transmissions, our radio
and our television transmissions, so that they have no idea
of what actually goes on in the outside world. So Im sure
when you get there, youre going to see a big difference
[unintelligible] going on. Kind of like Hitler burning
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] There have been plenty
of skirmishes along this line. The most famous was in 1976,
when American soldiers used an axe to chop down a tree that
was obscuring their vision. North Korean soldiers approached,
a fight broke out, and two Americans were killed by the very
same axe they were using to chop the tree.
My journey into North Korea was going to be controlled by government-appointed
minders who would not allow me to meet any ordinary North Koreans.
So I traveled to Seoul to meet defectors who had completed the
long and hazardous journey to the south. At least a quarter
of a million have fled across the Chinese border. Only the lucky
few make it to the south, where they are finally given refugee
[on camera] Theres a couple of North Korean refugees
here wholl talk to us but dont want to appear in
front of a camera. I dont know if theyre worried
about their own safety or the safety of their families back
in North Korea.
[voice-over] This would be the only time during my trip
I could talk openly to North Koreans.
[on camera] Im just trying to get a sense of what--
what daily life is like there. You know, what are the hardships?
What are the dangers?
FEMALE REFUGEE: [subtitles] They educate you
from the moment you are born. The moment a child utters a word,
they start him on ideological training, making him say, "Thank
you, Dear Leader" and "Thank you, Great Leader"
all the time. So they cant think for themselves.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] In the mid-1990s,
a tragic mixture of natural disaster and state failure led to
a famine that killed between one and three million people.
MALE REFUGEE: [subtitles] North Korea is a country
where people die of starvation. Can you imagine that? People
say, "May the Great Leader live 10,000 years." Even
those dying of starvation say it. When you go to North Korea,
youll only get to meet those saying "Long live the
Great Leader, Father General."
BEN ANDERSON: I was traveling with Will, my producer,
armed only with a small camera. We had been told to expect heavy
questioning and possibly even a strip search upon arrival in
North Korea. I left the bustling and prosperous streets of South
Korea expecting a grim-faced and hostile reception.
Mr. PAK, Guide: Welcome to Korea.
BEN ANDERSON: Our two guides were Mr. Pak and Miss Pak
-- no relation. They would accompany us in our every waking
hour for the next seven days.
In just one line of his "axis of evil" speech, George
Bush condemned North Korea as a regime arming itself with missiles
and weapons of mass destruction while starving its citizens.
Last year, only 150 Western tourists came here. With no Internet,
mobile phones and only state-run media, North Korea has rightly
been described as "the hermit kingdom."
[on camera] Well, the first thing you notice is just
how quiet it is everywhere. I mean, theres literally,
I dont know, 10-- I mean, Im looking over half the
city, and I can probably see 10 cars.
[voice-over] North Korea is desperate to engage with
the outside world, and it soon became clear that our tour was
going to be one long advert for North Korea and its heroic soldiers,
factory workers, farmers and intellectuals. I was taken to the
statue of North Koreas president, officially called "Great
Leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung," and for a few U.S. dollars
was told to lay flowers at his feet.
Miss PAK, Guide: Oh, Mr. William, dont forget
to take a full picture of the statue, OK? Dont cut the--
dont cut in half. This is the most sacred place, yes?
BEN ANDERSON: The Great Leader ruled from 1948 until
his death in 1994, and over $2.5 billion was spent on ceremonies
and monuments in his memory. He holds the office of president
eternally, making North Korea the only country in the world
with a dead president.
[on camera] Was Kim Il Sung just a human being or more,
Miss PAK: Of course, hes a human being, but hes
high-- highly what--
BEN ANDERSON: Developed?
Miss PAK: Yes, I think. He is not God, but I think hes
very hard-working for the people, and he do everything for the
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] And the people are
still working hard for him. An army of volunteers keeps his
statue spotlessly clean, and when a bird threatens to blemish
the Great Leader, there is panic down below until the bird is
finally chased away. After three years of official mourning
for the Great Leader, his son, Kim Jong Il, was declared the
countrys Dear Leader, creating communisms only-ever
[on camera] Kim Il Sung was called the great leader--
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: --and Kim Jong Il is called the dear leader.
Miss PAK: Yes. Right.
BEN ANDERSON: Does that-- does that mean he is-- he
is less than his father?
Miss PAK: No, that does not mean--
BEN ANDERSON: Just different?
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] The Victorious Fatherland
Liberation War Museum was the first of many I would be taken
to. Here I would learn that the Great Leader singlehandedly
defeated Japanese imperialism in 1945, with no mention of World
MUSEUM GUIDE: This picture shows the invincibility of
Korean people united strongly around the Great Leader, General
Kim Il Sung, who defeated imperialism, U.S. and Japan.
BEN ANDERSON: In 1950, after finally getting support
and permission from Russia and China, General Kim Il Sung invaded
the South in an attempt to reunify Korea.
MUSEUM GUIDE: In this room and next room, you can see
how the U.S. aggressors occupied South Korea and prepared the
aggressive war against the northern half of the republic.
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] If the attack came
from the South first--
MUSEUM GUIDE: Yeah?
BEN ANDERSON: --how come the North made so much progress
into the South?
MUSEUM GUIDE: Oh, I will explain later.
BEN ANDERSON: OK. What were the Russians and Chinese
doing in North Korea?
MUSEUM GUIDE: I will explain later.
BEN ANDERSON: OK.
[voice-over] The showpiece of the museum is a huge revolving
panoramic painting of a famous battle. The unshaven alcoholics
are the U.S. imperialist aggressors, the sun-tanned heroes with
white teeth the North Korean army.
[www.pbs.org: Read interview with the reporter]
[on camera] So this is the-- this is the USS Pueblo,
which is the only U.S. naval vessel in captivity in the world,
which theyve proudly kept open for us a little bit later
[voice-over] The USS Pueblo is North Koreas greatest
trophy, and its moored permanently in the countrys
WILL DAWS, Producer: Who is he?
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Hes a veteran
who played a part in the battle to capture the USS Pueblo.
[voice-over] After a gunfight, the crew were captured.
One sailor was killed.
[on camera] The American soldier was killed here?
Mr. PAK: Yes, here.
[www.pbs.org: Timeline of U.S./N. Korea conflict]
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] The crew were only
released 11 months later, after the U.S. government wrote a
[on camera] "The government of the United States
of America shoulders full responsibility and solemnly apologizes
for the grave acts of espionage committed by the U.S. ship against
the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea."
NORTH KOREAN VETERAN: [subtitles] Our 7 men boarded
the Pueblo and captured 83 of the armed villains. If the American
imperialists infiltrate this land again, well chase them
to the end of the world and bomb their bases. Well crush
them mercilessly under our feet.
WILL DAWS: What does he think of Bush?
NORTH KOREAN VETERAN: [subtitles] He is a war
fanatic and a warmonger.
BEN ANDERSON: So where do you live? Do you live in--
Miss PAK: This is middle district, and I live here,
just beside the river.
BEN ANDERSON: Do you live with your family?
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: Yeah.
Miss PAK: Mother-in-law and father-in-law and my husband
and one daughter. Her name is Teun [sp?], meaning the pond of
BEN ANDERSON: Oh, really?
Miss PAK: The lake of knowledge. Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: And shes only 1 year old.
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: Do people here like American music?
Miss PAK: I just forgot the name of the famous singer.
It starts from "E."
BEN ANDERSON: A man or a woman?
Miss PAK: A man.
BEN ANDERSON: "E"-- Elvis?
Miss PAK: Elvis, yes! I know him.
BEN ANDERSON: Elvis.
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: Hes your favorite.
When I kind of came here, Id read all the articles. Id
read all the books, and I was coming here, really, to sort of
laugh at the personality cult here and, you know, the ridiculousness
of it all. And I came here, actually, thinking that by the end
of the week, Id-- Id confront our guides and say
that "What youre showing me is a sham." But
I dont know. Theyre breaking my heart.
[voice-over] The next day, we were driven for three
hours to visit what we were told was a typical cooperative farm.
This vision of agricultural perfection did not tally with what
I had read about the great famine.
[on camera] Many people are dying from starvation.
Miss PAK: I dont think its so serious. Its
not that serious.
BEN ANDERSON: Really?
Miss PAK: Yes. Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: Because we read that many, many people
Miss PAK: There is still lack of foods, but not-- not
very-- not that kind of serious problem, many people dying.
BEN ANDERSON: Are we wrong? Because we-- in our newspapers,
it said that maybe a million people died from starvation.
Miss PAK: Maybe it will be propaganda.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] Propaganda, the response
I got every time I suggested there might be a few cracks in
the Great Leaders "sunshine state." It seemed
pointless to mention the fact that many aid agencies think the
number of deaths from famine could be as high as three million.
Miss PAK: Lets go inside.
BEN ANDERSON: If millions have died through starvation,
loyalty to the Great and Dear Leaders remains unbreakable.
GIRL: [singing] [subtitles] Sun, sun, if
theres sun, its the morning. Sun, sun, if theres
sun, the birds fly. The Great Leaders picture is the
sun, to whom I am grateful. I cant live without him.
I am thankful to him.
BEN ANDERSON: Everywhere you go in North Korea, you
see evidence of a country constantly prepared for war. One in
ten North Koreans wears military uniform, and you often see
army trucks carrying soldiers and weapons.
WILL DAWS: What was in there?
Mr. PAK: Beef.
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Lots of boxes of shells
and machine guns.
Mr. PAK: Beef. [laughs]
BEN ANDERSON: Are you afraid the beef will go off?
WILL DAWS: That was a lorry full of beef.
Mr. PAK: Right. Beef. Yeah.
BEN ANDERSON: Beef.
Mr. PAK: Yeah. Right.
BEN ANDERSON: Beef can mean trouble. Like, if I have
beef with you, it means I have a problem with you.
WILL DAWS: America has a beef with North Korea, you
Mr. PAK: Lots of, I think, the nuclear beef they have.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] Just one week later,
and I was back at the Demilitarized Zone. Only this time, I
was inside the "axis of evil," looking out.
NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER: [subtitles] This place
is very volatile. In other places, you need a big incident to
start a war. But here, even the smallest mistake made by one
soldier could lead to a war. During the Korean war, my whole
family -- 11 in total -- were massacred. My father was the only
survivor. Because of my family history, my father has been in
uniform all his life, and his five sons are all serving on the
Miss PAK: American soldier.
BEN ANDERSON: I didnt dare tell him wed
been shown around by the very same soldier just a week before.
[on camera] In the newspapers, it said that they have
an axe on display.
Miss PAK: Oh, yes.
BEN ANDERSON: One that they used to kill American soldiers
in the 1960s or 1970s.
Miss PAK: Kill American soldiers?
BEN ANDERSON: Yeah, with an axe.
Miss PAK: [subtitles] He saw in a newspaper that
the axe that hit the American soldiers is on display.
NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER: [subtitles] Didnt
you see it? Its there. There are photos there, as well.
Mr. PAK: OK. Then we will have to drop in there to see
BEN ANDERSON: Yeah. OK.
NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER: [subtitles] Sorry about
the power cut. Can you film in this light?
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] And in the darkest
part of the museum, we found the axe, proudly displayed in a
NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER: [subtitles] The Americans,
in their desire to dominate the world, didnt want to leave
South Korea. So in order to have an excuse to stay, they provoked
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Smiling, waving North
Korean soldiers is very different to how we are told in the
Miss PAK: Yes. Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] I had expected a hermetically
sealed communist state to be cold, gray and heavily industrialized,
so I was surprised to find an afternoon on the beach was part
of our itinerary.
[on camera] Were on the beach, but theres
a kind of wooden fence, and theres an electric fence to
stop American espionage scuba divers from swimming in from ships
and becoming spies in North Korea somewhere. He told me the
fence is electric, but Im not sure I believe him.
Mr. Pak, I can touch it?
Mr. PAK: No!
BEN ANDERSON: You sure?
Mr. PAK: Yes [unintelligible]
BEN ANDERSON: I dont believe you.
Who do you think might attack this country?
Mr. PAK: This country?
BEN ANDERSON: Yeah.
Mr. PAK: Americans. We think like that.
BEN ANDERSON: [unintelligible] attack?
Mr. PAK: Yeah. We think like that. If we have not enough
the arms, then maybe it will be attacked by the Americans because,
anyhow, maybe its happened in Iraq and then here. Iraq,
and then the here. The Afghanistan and the like. If we are not
ready, of course, you see, for the attack, then maybe they can
easily, of course, occupy this land.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] The Korean war ended
almost 50 years ago, but it seems clear the North Koreans would
fight to the death tomorrow.
Miss PAK: If the U.S. imperialists want to fight, then
we will fight. So we have to prepare. But if they want to make--
if they want to talk peacefully, then we also want.
WILL DAWS: Thats good.
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Yeah. Yeah.
WILL DAWS: So you want peace.
BEN ANDERSON: What is that noise?
Miss PAK: Hour of noon, 12:00 oclock.
BEN ANDERSON: Not an air raid--
Miss PAK: Its 12:00 oclock.
BEN ANDERSON: Its not an air raid warning?
Miss PAK: [laughs] No! You have to run.
BEN ANDERSON: Yeah, thats what it sounds like.
Miss PAK: OK?
AMERICAN TOURIST: Its an air raid siren.
BEN ANDERSON: Yeah. Hes saying the same thing!
Miss PAK: Oh, yes! [laughter]
Mr. Pak told you, you have to get permission.
WILL DAWS: Sorry?
Miss PAK: Maybe they get angry.
WILL DAWS: For whatever we film?
Miss PAK: Oh, yes. Of all people. Get the permission.
WILL DAWS: To film?
Miss PAK: Yes.
WILL DAWS: Oh, OK.
Miss PAK: Is that all right?
WILL DAWS: Yeah. Thats fine.
Miss PAK: Looks like Americans.
WILL DAWS: Oh, so they think--
Miss PAK: Oh, yes.
WILL DAWS: --I could be American.
Miss PAK: Yes.
WILL DAWS: Ah.
KOREAN MAN: You look like an American.
WILL DAWS: Thats not-- thats not good here,
KOREAN MAN: Bloody bad imperialist bastard! [laughter]
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] Miss Pak was faithfully
toeing the party line. However, our conversation about books
showed that her world didnt revolve entirely around the
Great and Dear Leaders.
Miss PAK: I also like novels.
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Which book is your
favorite book of all time?
Miss PAK: Maybe mostly I read Jane Eyre.
BEN ANDERSON: Oh, really?
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: I didnt know you had that here.
Miss PAK: Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: [voice-over] Even Mr. Pak was opening
Mr. PAK: This one is a bourgeois watch.
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Bourgeois watch?
Mr. PAK: Yeah, a bourgeois watch.
BEN ANDERSON: So how much?
Mr. PAK: Maybe $1,000.
BEN ANDERSON: Fourteen dollars.
Mr. PAK: Fourteen?
BEN ANDERSON: Fourteen.
Mr. PAK: Fourteen dollars.
BEN ANDERSON: How much was your watch?
Mr. PAK: Twenty.
BEN ANDERSON: Twenty dollars?
Mr. PAK: Approximately.
BEN ANDERSON: Youre so bourgeois! [laughter]
I am proletariat.
Mr. PAK: Proletariat?
BEN ANDERSON: Youre bourgeois with your $20 watch!
[voice-over] The most excessive display of nationalism
is the Arirang Festival, where 100,000 performers praise the
Great and Dear Leaders and mourn the division of their country.
The South are shown as long-lost family members, with reunification
blocked by the American military presence. While all the people
of North and South live for reunification, I wondered if the
Dear Leader felt the same way. He had to realize an open border
and the information it would reveal would surely mean an end
to his reign.
On our last night, our guides finally agreed to join us for
Mr. PAK: We are happy to toast with the British bourgeoisie.
WILL DAWS: You glad were going?
Miss PAK: How can you ask in that way? I am so sad.
WILL DAWS: What have you enjoyed most this week?
Miss PAK: This week? Every time when I was with you,
I enjoyed very much. Yes. Really. Its true.
WILL DAWS: Even when we argued about politics?
Miss PAK: Oh, yes. Of course. Because that is the stage
that we are getting close and we are getting understand. Yes.
BEN ANDERSON: [on camera] Mr. Pak, do you still
think were bourgeois?
Mr. PAK: Maybe you are turned into the revolutionary,
I think. Socialist. From bourgeois!
BEN ANDERSON: When I go home, Im going to give
up all my luxurious goods.
Mr. PAK: Precisely. Yes.
Miss PAK: I am a revolutionary, yes. So I think in politics,
youll never -- what -- youll never convert me.
ANNOUNCER: Finally tonight, Indian children discover
India: The Hole in the Wall
Reported by Rory OConnor
RORY OCONNOR, Reporter: [voice-over] I first
visited India two years ago while directing a film about global
poverty. A billion people live here, one of every six on the planet.
Only a quarter of them have access to clean water, and half are
In a New Delhi slum, I came across an unusual scene, a computer
embedded in a wall. It was surrounded by children. Turns out
the computer was put here by the company next door, NIIT. While
India suffers extreme poverty, it is also home to some of the
worlds most advanced high-technology firms.
Dr. Sugata Mitra is head of research and development here.
For years, his passion has been educating poor children.
SUGATA MITRA: Removing what is increasingly being called
the "digital divide" is an important issue, which
means that everyone must have access.
RORY OCONNOR: In 1999, Mitra launched an experiment
that came to be known as "the hole in the wall." He
connected a high-speed computer to the Internet and placed it
in the wall that separates his firms headquarters from
the adjacent slum. Then he watched who began to use it. Curious
kids were immediately drawn to the computer.
SUGATA MITRA: So when they said, "Can we touch
it?" I said, "Its on your side of the wall."
So the rules say whatever is on their side of the wall, they
can touch, so they touched it.
RORY OCONNOR: Within minutes, the children figured
out how to point and click. By the end of the day, they were
browsing. Given access and opportunity, the children quickly
taught themselves the rudiments of computer literacy.
CHILD: [subtitles] I learned it on my own. Some
kids used to play with it, and I would watch them, so I learned
RORY OCONNOR: A young boy named Rajinder was the
first to teach himself how to use the computer.
RAJINDER: [subtitles] I play games. I try to
use different tools, like the paint tool. And I connect to the
Internet. Mainly, I go to the Disney site. I visited a news
site a couple days ago. I read about the Taliban and bin Laden.
I read that there was a war going on between America and the
Taliban. There was bombing, too. Ive seen it on the TV,
and I saw the bombing pictures on the computer.
SUGATA MITRA: He didnt know what a computer was.
He was the first guy to have made the jump across what I guess
you could describe as maybe 3,000 or 4,000 years of history--
in minutes, actually.
RORY OCONNOR: Rajinders self-confidence
soared after he taught himself how to use a computer.
TEACHER: Now Ive seen a lot of change in him,
and he has become quite bold, and let me say expressive, also.
And Ive got great hopes on this child.
SUGATA MITRA: [to Rajinder] [subtitles]
What is your definition of the Internet?
[in English] He says, "That with which you can
RORY OCONNOR: By the time I returned to India
this year, Mitra had already replicated his experiment in several
other settings. Each time the results were similar: Within hours,
and without instruction, children began browsing the Internet.
Now Mitra was about to place new computers in another poor community.
NIIT REPRESENTATIVE: [subtitles] We have
set up five computers here. And please, everyone, send your
kids before or after school. If you have girls in your house,
you can send them, also.
GIRLS AT COMPUTER: [subtitles] Move it towards
the side to make it a hand. Move it a bit. When it becomes
a hand, press the green button. Green! Green! Green! Oh,
here it comes!
RORY OCONNOR: In a society where only one in three
females can read, Mitras experiment is a way for girls
to overcome barriers. One schoolgirl named Anjana seemed especially
ANJANA: [subtitles] Today is just my first day.
I want to learn more.
INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] How do you feel about
ANJANA: [subtitles] I feel great.
INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] How great?
ANJANA: [subtitles] Really, really great!
SUGATA MITRA: They reinvent even the terms because nobody
taught them the words. So they dont call a cursor a cursor,
they call it a "suhi," which is Hindi for "needle."
And they dont call the hourglass symbol the hourglass
symbol because theyve never seen an hourglass before.
They call it the "domru," which is Shivas drum.
And it does look a bit like that!
RORY OCONNOR: Before leaving India, I traveled
south with Mitra to the rural state of Maharashtra, where he
was installing still more computers.
SUGATA MITRA: These computers are going to be powerful,
theyre going to be connected, and theyre going to
be free, entirely free, without any restrictions on their usage.
INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] How many of you have
heard of the Internet? What is the Internet?
GIRL: [subtitles] It is used to send messages.
You can send letters. You can type on your computer and it reaches
the other persons computer.
[www.pbs.org: More on this experiment]
SUGATA MITRA: I dont even want to guess at what
computer literacy might do to children, except to say that if
cyberspace is considered a place, then there are people who
are already in it and people who are not in it. And there seems
to be general consensus of opinion that such segregation among
cyber people versus non-cyber people is detrimental, and it
will cause a divide.
If that is the case, then I think the hole in the wall gives
us a method to create a door, if you like, through which large
numbers of children can rush into this new arena. And when that
happens, it will have changed our society forever.
IN THE LINE OF FIRE
Michael H. Amundson
Michael H. Amundson
a BBC production for FRONTLINE/World
HOLE IN THE WALL
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
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