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Werner Herzog got special permits to shoot volcano doc in North Korea

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Werner Herzog’s new documentary Into the Inferno delves into active volcanoes in Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Iceland — but the film’s most intriguing location may be in the restrictive authoritarian nation of North Korea.

In a recent video interview with EW, Herzog said gaining access to shoot at Mount Paektu provided a rare opportunity to learn more about life in the Hermit Kingdom.

“We had an official permit, which is very, very rare,” Herzog said. “I think hardly anyone has managed to do that.”

He continued, “In North Korea everything is surprising, everything is different. People do not have cell phones because the general population doesn’t have contact to the outside world. Meaning they have no radio from outside, no television, no newspapers — it’s only the party propaganda newspaper. Everything is different there, and we have to take a good look at it because North Korea is a very, very strange but very fascinating country.”

Watch a clip from Herzog’s interview above. Into the Inferno will arrive on Netflix and in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 28.