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A State of Mind (2004)

 |  Documentary  |  2004 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 878 users   Metascore: 63/100
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A British documentary that follows two young North Korean girls as they prepare for the Mass Games, the world's largest choreographed gymnastics performance.



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Cast overview:
Daniel Gordon ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Hyon Sun Pak ...
Herself - Gymnast
Song Yun Kim ...
Herself - Gymnast
Kim Jong-il ...
Himself - Supreme Leader, North Korea (archive footage) (as Jong-il Kim)
Jong Ho Kim ...
Himself - Mass Games Organizer


A British documentary that follows two young North Korean girls as they prepare for the Mass Games, the world's largest choreographed gymnastics performance.

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Official Sites:





Release Date:

2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die jungen Tänzerinnen aus Pjöngjang  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,515 (USA) (12 August 2005)


$41,468 (USA) (11 November 2005)

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Production Co:

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User Reviews

For the general
11 October 2006 | by (Aarhus, Denmark) – See all my reviews

I agree with what most posters say about this movie. Yes, the film does not show any of the real horrors of the country. What it shows is what the North Korean government would allow, and nothing else.

But the film also gives a rare insight into the (few) people whose lives in some ways can be compared to the lives of people in other countries. But where we have film stars, pop singers, authors, intellectuals and other role models that present us with diversified views on life, they (the affluent minority) have only one philosophy, and that is Kim Jong Il. They have no alternative religions, politics, philosophies, myths, icons, legends, thoughts or anything else.

What is interesting about the film is that it gives us an insight into the lives of those who are relatively well off in a totalitarian regime. And it is clear that the movie is made by people who do not live in that same regime. The filmmakers look at the human, 'weak' side of these people instead of just showing these people as role models. The North Korean government would see these people as becoming a glorious unified whole during these games. We see them as robots and slaves to a corrupt regime that doesn't care about them.

It is like British people visiting and making documentaries about the Nazi-devotees in the late 30s Germany. We know what is going on behind the scene, but the devotion and naivety shown by the people on screen is almost just as frightening, since these people could be ourselves under similar circumstances.

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