Movies have caused a stir on the international stage before - who can forget Khazakstan getting all mad about Borat? And the UK pre-banned The Great Dictator during production because of their official appeasement policy towards Nazi Germany (although the war had started by the time the movie came out, so it was all moot) - but I'm not sure any film has had as major an impact as The Interview. And that's before it was released.
If reports are true and the massive hack against Sony was executed at the behest of North Korea in retaliation for The Interview, this could be the first time a movie has caused a foreign nation to make an attack that could, if we so wanted to define it this way, be an act of cyberwar. The attack crippled the studio and as of this writing profoundly damaging private information about Sony's business practices and the lives of its employees are available to the public. Of course we first have to be sure it was North Korea behind the hack - while some claiming to represent Guardians of Peace, the hacking group, claim they have no national affiliation, reports indicate that the tools used to hack Sony's systems are the same ones North Korean hackers have used against South Korea.
North Korea has denied being involved, but come on. If they said they did do it I would begin looking elsewhere for suspects - I don't believe a thing that comes from official North Korean channels, and neither should you. And even if North Korea isn't behind the hack, and if the GOP representative quoted by CSO is real, then The Interview is actually still part of why this attack occured:
Our aim is not at the film The Interview as Sony Pictures suggests. But it is widely reported as if our activity is related to The Interview. This shows how dangerous film The Interview is. The Interview is very dangerous enough to cause a massive hack attack. Sony Pictures produced the film harming the regional peace and security and violating human rights for money.
The news with The Interview fully acquaints us with the crimes of Sony Pictures. Like this, their activity is contrary to our philosophy. We struggle to fight against such greed of Sony Pictures.
The thing is that none of this makes much sense, and the official GOP reasons for the hack are just as vaguely nonsensical. The group seems unable to explain what the crimes of Sony are, beyond being greedy. How you pick these guys out of the greedy corporate barrel is beyond me - maybe their security was just the absolute fucking worst?
Anyway, Sony certainly believes North Korea was behind the whole thing, and if that's true it means we all have a responsibility to throw a salute towards Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. They made a silly comedy that has drawn the active ire of a major, insane world power - this is the sort of influence most filmmakers would die to have. Will The Interview be the best film of 2014? I don't know, I won't see it until next week, but holy shit, it's going to be one of the most important films in history if it caused an attack that may have irreparably harmed Sony. The studio has already had a rough couple of years - this could be a major, serious blow.
All because a movie that makes fun of the leader of a foreign country. Rogen and Goldberg should get together with Lauren Poitras, whose much more serious movie Citizenfour has angered the US government with its exposes of NSA data snooping. This has been a hell of a year for movies pissing off officials. I love it.
So how about it, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? How about an honorary Oscar for Rogen, Goldberg and Poitras, one that recognizes them for showing us the cinema can shake the very pillars of our governments? Just make sure you encrypt and dual-authenticate all your stuff before you do.