While Under the Sun made me worry for the people the filmmakers worked with because they were clearly misled about what was going on, this film felt a bit more above board. One reason for that I suppose was the filmmakers giving the North Korean side a chance to play their own propaganda game, especially in the form of the Spanish man who is now the regime's living PR tool. Fascinating, but a bit repetitive.
We had Guy Delisle's 2007 comic, "Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea". Delisle lived and worked for 2 months in North Korea and his approach is very personal. Longoria is careful, even if he contrasts the official propaganda and NK testimonies with press, politicians and NGO's testimonies and some historical background. He portrays North Korean with dignity, as much as Delisle was protective. Alejandro is creepy.
By this point, we've seen a few documentaries which take us into the cloistered regime, including a very good one from VICE featuring Dennis Rodman, but none which so clearly demonstrates the bewilderment of the filmmaker himself. You feel like Longoria is turning to you and asking "Do you see this, too?" A great film to give you a sense of what a trip to Pyongyang would resemble.
I don't know what to believe in anymore. What I do know is that I learnt a lot from this documentary. It's unsettling and poignant, giving us an inside view of "the secret country" (one which I'm very curious about) while shedding some light on political and social matters, courtesy of very interesting interviewees.
A docu-drama revealing the complexities behind the totalitarian regime in North Korea which challenges US propaganda just as much as NK's. The nuance here is astonishing - talk about challenging pre-conceptions...there are no easy heroes and villains, even if we frame it as such.
Really interesting documentary from the inside of the world's most hermetically sealed society. Of course in the end we still don't know what is really going on, so don't expect any answers to questions you might have about North Korea. Longoria's approach is to show the propaganda lies told on both sides by listening to many different voices, while, to his great credit, avoiding mindless bashing of "the West".
Nothing is what it seems. Alvaro’s attempt is focused on the people of North Korea which is in the middle of an ongoing ideological war and a net of related interests. It succeeds in debunk some false stereotypes and placing human dimension as the real problem in contrast to the political scenario. An amazing opportunity to grasp in HD the monumental sites in Piong Yang as well as the people as they go by the streets