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16 days to watch
205 Ratings

Under the Sun

V luchakh solntsa

Directed by Vitaliy Mansky
Czech Republic, Germany, 2015
  • Korean
  • English


Over the course of one year, this film follows the life of an ordinary Pyongyang family whose daughter was chosen to take part in one of the famous Korean “Spartakiads”.

Our take

Recent years have seen an influx of films on life in North Korea, most of which were limited by the challenge of filming inside the state. Not the case for Under the Sun, which was a state monitored production that subverted partial control with its secretly filmed scenes of domestic life.

Under the Sun Directed by Vitaliy Mansky Watch now
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What are people saying?

  • Lthm2's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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.

  • Eli K's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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.

  • Lex Lucas's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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.

  • ihor's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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.

  • Karl J. Kipling's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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?

  • Aivaras_Z's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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.

  • Jionkiim's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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'.

  • Slappy McGee's rating of the film Under the Sun

    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.