This film was a interesting look into the life of and obstacles that exist today in North Korea. Two Danish comedians and their manager travel there hoping to have a culture impact on the people they meet but end up being taught about the society. They are deeply troubled by what they see but still feel a emotional connection with the people they met. This documentary has lots of little twists and is a good watch.
This movie gave an unexpected approach to the life in North Korea. We are shown how the simple task of putting on a comedy show can be more than complicated when being part of a strict regime, as well as the impact on both ends of the experience. I recommend this eye-opening documentary! I found the characters captivating, the documentary enlightening, and the experience equal parts thrilling and depressing.
Mads Brügger is a frustrating filmmaker. His films always contain extremely fascinating concepts and elements, but he always abusively squanders them, no matter what people get trampled in his path, in order to make some completely unsurprising and underwhelming point.
If you are born and raised in a totalitarian regime with no knowledge of any thing better then what you know then is it really that awful? Is it awful at all? Or is it just what you know and life as you know it? For the children growing up here, their reality is what they are told it is. They seem happy. They are happy. If your world has always been 1984 then that is your world.
Really daring expose into North Korea. The director Mads really comes off snarky and slimy. He takes advantage of his own actors/friends and it almost ruins his relationship with them, as he seeks to use them to reveal some of North Korea's secrets. The real gem is the evolution of Jacob throughout this film. It's eye-opening to see his transformation. This film is a MUST-SEE.
What makes this film so good is the rare look it gives into North Korea. While Brugger's point was made through his outsider act, it gave light to something deeper than just the manipulative dictatorship that rules the country: humanity. Although their handler worked for the secret police, she showed genuine love for Jacob towards the end and even compared him to her son. We are all human inside as this film shows.
I found this movie hypocrite and selfish. The director believes that in North Korea people are treated brutally but deliberately he puts the lives of all those Koreans participated in the movie in danger! What happened to Ms. Pak after North Korean authorities watched this movie?
"If the North Koreans were using [a visibly disabled Westerner] for their own propaganda purposes, so was I - maybe in a more cynical and manipulative way." This idea ends up making this the most sincere and valuable North Korean infiltration documentary I've seen, right after I'd gotten weary and suspicious of them as all being more pro-Western than what they needed to be, which is sincerely anti-DPRK.
I think the film makers set out to make a joke, a prank documentary and goof on the North Korean dictatorship. It quickly becomes very not funny for everybody, but that is what makes this film interesting; the way art can be consumed by a predatory force. Worth watching.
Brugger's state approved (by North Korea) documentary is a somewhat enjoyable faux doc that never really achieves the director's targets but never fails to entertain. Brugger would use a similar ruse in his followup 'The Ambassador' with much better success. Still a peak behind the iron wall of North Korea is well worth the time spent here.
A film in opposition with itself for the better. A tour de force of objecting subjective realities that dance with each other, challenging deep seeded perceptions on all fronts. Fronts that even Mads Brugger has to confront within himself. Red chapel grapples charged subjects all at once, with a kind of sincerity that can only be done when one puts oneself on the front lines. All of oneself.
A film with a very curious effect. Our director/narrator announces his intent to "expose the evil of North Korea"—not exactly a controversial target—and his documentary methods in doing so can sometimes look reprehensible. But oddly, he seems to realize this, as the real hero of his film becomes a handicapped actor who favors empathy over cheap irony. As should we. 3.5 stars.
Brilliant! Mads Brugger has to not only be the ballsiest documentary maker out there today but also the one with the blackest sense of humour. If you loved the Ambassador you'll really enjoy this. He uses politically incorrect comedy as a trojan horse to assault politics-gone-wrong in North Korea. 4 stars