As fascinating for its depiction of the swirling rainbow geometries of the Mass Games spectacles & the disciplined girls' training to participate in them, as for an extremely rare glimpse into the repressive, near-Orwellian North Korean society. Equal parts Man On Wire and 1984; one of the most memorable documentaries I've seen. ★★★★★
Reasonably engaging, albeit by the books. This is a great showcase of life in Pyongyang, and also the rare foreign documentary which voyages outside the city. This film displays the dedication that the residents of the capital have for the leader of North Korea, and lets the audience detect their sentiments to the outside world from the subtleties.
As with The Red Chapel I am struck by how happy the children are. How well behaved, how well disciplined, how well educated, how talented and how selfless. When I pick up my son from school and see his schoolmates running around screaming Fuck and think...the price of freedom? There may be something to be said for the hivemind.
An extremely fascinating watch. While this documentary defines communism, the intended viewer should be surprised to realize each citizen's unanimous perspective of their leader. I hadn't realized that the origins of the fear they hold for their leader, Kim Jung Il, were the roots of all humanity: love. As it may seem torturous to an American, watching this somehow makes the culture's entire existence crystal clear.
(3.5 stars) A very interesting look behind the walls of North Korea. Following a few of the young gymnasts and their families as they prepare for one of the giant performances for their Supreme Leader... who doesn't even bother to show up to see this extreme effort of loyalty and devotion. Amazing to see the amount of brainwashing going on in the schools. Wow.
I have never watched anything like this, but I quite enjoyed the change of genre in documentary. Little did I know just how strict North Korea is with their people. The older gymnast was so nervous that her general would see her, and that was everyone's perspective. They all dedicated their lives to pleasing him and bettering their country in many different ways. This was very informative and I am glad to know more!
A State of Mind is one of the best documentaries I've watched in years. Not only does it follow the story of gymnasts preparing for the Mass games it shows how much North Korea hates us. I would recommend this film for everyone.