A NEW hit film is sweeping the North Korean capital, official media said yesterday, telling the story of a female student in a production that got a helping hand from the country's No 1 film fan: leader Kim Jong Il.
Mr Kim, a known cinema buff, lent his assistance to the making of Diary of a Girl Student, which the North's state-run news agency said was drawing "full houses in Pyongyang every day".
"Busy as he was with continuous inspection tours of front-line army units, he improved its script and guided its production to become a masterpiece of the times," the Korean Central News Agency said of Mr Kim's contribution.
The film tells a story of a girl and her younger sister who grumble at their parents' devotion to scientific research, but eventually come to understand, with the girl choosing to follow her father's path.
The North Korean regime has emphasised the pursuit of science as a way forward for the impoverished country, which has notably focused efforts on building up its capabilities in missile and nuclear technology.
North Korea's test-launches of a barrage of missiles last month drew UN Security Council sanctions.
The reclusive Mr Kim's love of cinema is well-known. He wrote a book on film production that is also published in English and sold abroad, and founded a film school in Pyongyang that is a regular stop for tourists who are told of his numerous visits there.