A documentary by one of few foreign filmmakers granted access to film in North Korea. His attempts to get a real idea of the lives the 23 million people who live in this media punchline of a country are, of course, hopelessly thwarted and the movie becomes an examination of the propaganda war surrounding the isolated nation. What is the truth about North Korea? Is it even possible that we could know the truth about North Korea? Fascinating documentary, very open about its own flaws and subjectivity, as part of the very subject it’s examining.
It is very frank about the fact that everything being shown to the documentary crew is carefully chosen, groomed, controlled by the authorities. Yet even when he tries to break out, make an impromptu visit to chapel for mass, he can’t be sure that anything going on around him is real. North Korea is so different culturally anyway, and there seem to be many sincere interactions with ordinary people that it’s so difficult to judge.
This features some excellent Dear Leader dance numbers, check it out.