Shows that if you film constraints long enough, it will ultimately show you the humanity behind it, the life no one can truly obliterate. It is genius filmmaking and really make you feel for the north-korean people.
Eye-opening. Deserves a lot of attention. This documentary gives a very close look at the life of the North Korean people. The saddest thing is that they don't think their life is hell and that the tyrants have taken over the power; they simply have no idea what's behind the border.
Mansky managed to make a documentary on North Korea; and because the movie has been supervised by the government propaganda it became a movie on the moviemaking under the surveillance, showing us between the takes - when the mask is put down - the true faces of oppressed humans. Worth a lot. It's a hot testimony on human society.
An attempt to show the life of a "normal" North Korean life through a young girl. Everything is done according to official script set by the government and yet Mansky is still able to show the subversiveness and falseness of the supposed normality. At times alternating from humor to sheer horror the attempt at even a highly coordinated depiction of a "normal" North Korean life fails miserably.
Intriguing for its glimpse inside La-La Land, but makes its points early on, and do they really surprise anyone? Bigger problem by far is that of ethics. I think, Who went to North Korean penal colony because of this? Who got tortured or shot so some guy could get famous for making his documentary about the lowliest of the low, the most miserable of the miserable, then have caviar and champagne when safely back home?
How surreal the negotiations must've been, arranging & shooting an ostensibly propagandistic docufiction film in N. Korea. Subjected to rigorous control by the authorities (script, and improbable context, provided), and the constant presence of handlers, Mansky's camera is left to pick up what subtle truth it can. Hard to rate, as cinema (though in no way is it brilliant). But a valuable, unsettling document. 3.5
It really must suck to be a child in North Korea. The movie in a way reflects on the making of a documentary itself - can you subvert the order from authority by obeying it and yet still "document" something beyond that? I think this movie succeeds in this case.
A question about freedom and it's restriction. The move-freedom is restricted but how about in their head? What is their alternative in our sense? North Korea was trying to give a fictional 'right picture' of their life. Is it control or discipline? This film shows the phänomenon in North Korea quite naturally and objective but the last scene was too clear for me to know 'the opinion or goal of the director'.