Sometimes it might feel like propaganda, but it shows real facts about North Korea such as bad public services, lies, misrepresentation of the truth, leader worship and how children are taught hatred and live as the extension of an homeland with no freedom of expression or choice.
I thought this film was an interesting look into how the state controls its image, and I thought it was well-shot and well-edited. But I'm not sure if it was ethical for the filmmakers to make this movie if its release added threat to the safety of the family or the crew's handlers. Is an engaging look into what is largely already known about North Korea worth the potential risk to these individuals?
Collective thought and action takes considerable maintenance. So much time is spent on unity and uniformity, it's no wonder a people can't muster much else. Kudos to the filmmakers for keeping the cameras rolling when the state agents are directing the "cast." The last shot before the credit sequence is one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever seen.
Every time one of the North Korean film helpers would step into the shot, I thought of the main character in Adam Smith's "The Orphan Master's Son" (won Fiction Pulitzer in 2013). Which of the people in North Korea who worked on this film were purged by the government when it was released? Quite a few must have been harmed or seen their families harmed. Terrible to contemplate. We, as the audience, are complicit too.
The most striking scene in this masterpiece is one where the subject-families pose for family-photos (I'm not going to tell you what to feel but it definitely struck an impression in me). Being that Kim has so much power not only over his subjects but the entire world, this vision is quite terrifying. Keep in mind that Kim approved of this film which includes massive psychological torture, even drafted the script.
Super clever and subversive way to peek behind the veiled curtain of North Korea. At first, I didn't realize what the filmmaker was doing, but then it dawned on me. Immediately, I was highly impressed with what he did and utterly fascinated. The "story" is told, scene by scene, but the true STORY is on display throughout. It's not only fascinating to see all of the brainwashing going on, it's downright frightening.
Much of the action has been staged or manipulated; scenes are repeatedly halted so the family members can be coached on how to deliver lines, and the parents' jobs were changed to make them better exemplars of communism. Aside from a few explanatory captions, the film is opaque; it may not be the uplifting propaganda piece the government wanted, but it lacks perspective to reveal what life in N Korea is truly like.
This film was indescribable. The way Mansky captured the eight year old's emotions through out the film were incredible. Zin-Mi had me in tears she went through out the movie. The intimate scenes between Zin-Mi and her family touched my heart so much. Watching this film, it made me learn something new about the Children's Union and what it is all about. I recommend this film because of the sincerity of it.
I'm a new member to Mubi, and this was the first film I watched. First of all, the camerawork is incredible. The cinematography is memorable, cold, and intense. (If you can't tell, this is also the first review I've written) The soundtrack reminded me of Requiem for A Dream. This is an oxymoron, but it felt fake and genuine at the same time. It's a window into a world that I'll never see, that doesnt feel real but is
Although stylistically removed and distanced, it is a compelling movie about the production of North Korean propaganda. The film within the film is not a large "Dear Leader" type story, but one that celebrates the lives of "regular" North Koreans. I agree with reviewers who question the ethics of the subterfuge the filmmakers used to get access and wonder who paid a price for this. Cf. "The Propaganda Game"
I give this 5 stars with reservation. It is fascinating in its depiction of how all encompassing and pervasive propaganda can be mostly when it focuses on one all powerful leader. What I question is how the filmers got away with shooting so many scenes that likely were not sanctioned by their monitors and I am queasy about the fate of the children and adults filmed in moments of less than the expected devotion.
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?
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.
Ein sehr trostloses Land in einer trostlosen Dokumentation. Dem Regisseur gefällt es, die Mechanismen dieser Diktatur wieder und wieder langatmig zu präsentieren. Die Zwischentöne – kurze Szenen, die gelangweilte, ratlose Kindergesichter zeigen – machen den Film interessant und trotz aller aufoktroyierter Einschränkungen offenbarend. – Die Schlußszene ein herzzerreißendes Fallbeil.
highly disturbing portray of a grey area between lie and truth, fiction and reality, an atmosphere of fakeness and manipulation of people who become vessels of brainwashing propaganda. as if a constant living in a movie set directed through the cruel bleakness of totalitarism. what's most shocking and terrifying is the notion of existential repetition of their lives as enslaved zombies. powerful filmmaking.