Challenging the meaning of freedom, love, patriotism and ultimately the human condition, it tries to understand, on their own terms, the psychology and popular imaginary of the North Korean people and the political ideology of absolute love.
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Closely related with Ujica's "Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu", is exactly in the collection and coordination of period documents with propaganda films that the film earns its greater expressiveness: a critical review of history, in constant becoming, through the matter of its own memorabilia. We came out from the film with the memory of a nostalgic musical about one dreary and factual reality.
Is North Korea the loneliest place on Earth? Yoo's haunting film about fatherland posits perhaps. But perhaps not. We in the West may be inured to atomist anomie, but citizens of the DPRK, beset (not to say bombarded) by relentlessly on-point propaganda, are marinated in a mythology that accords every individual a place in one big striving family. The mythology, though thin, taps deep reserves of grievance and pride.
The amazing opening footage establishes a profound sense of fragility. This is a wounded country, and the only hope the people have is to cling on to is a desperate collective mythology. What else can they trust? Understandably not the western bloc powers that turned their country into rubble.