Deceptively powerful. Those who won't like the choppy, slightly manic, mixed-media style should find enough weight in the actual content to make the movie worth their while. Animation, N.Korean kitsch and quirky propaganda provide effective - if amateurish - juxtaposition for the much heavier political/humanitarian themes of the film. Also the 1st interpretive dance scene in a movie that hasn't made me want to vomit.
for a while, i thought the interviewees were telling a joke, or perhaps delivering their physics dissertation, so thank god for the extreme close-ups and syrupy piano music, else i would never have realised they were talking about being tortured! and look, torture is very sad. see? sad face -> :(. very soon it became clear that the grand insight of the film was that north korea is a bad place, so i turned it off.
In the wake of The Interview, this documentary sheds light on the atrocities being committed in North Korea. The version of North Korea presented to the world at large and the harsh reality are well-contrasted, but the rest of the film doesn't live up to that standard. The quality of the filmmaking is akin to something you might find on third-tier cable. It's a valiant effort, but poorly executed.
Comprised mostly of interview footage juxtaposed with interpretive dance and archival footage, Kimjongilia plays out more like a A&E Biography than a typical documentary. Nevertheless, some of the accounts are quite vivid and captivating, yet, I found the execution of the production to lean a bit on the side of the amateur.