Good information, excellent photography and production, awful narration
I was really excited to watch this documentary, as NK is always an interesting topic. Unfortunately, Lisa Ling's narration was amateurish and distracting. This woman is not qualified to narrate a documentary, particularly at this level. Her mannerism, bizarre speaking style, flip attitude, and interview questions seem like something out of a low-budget high school or junior college production. To make matters worse, she obviously wasn't prepared for this assignment, and continually demonstrated her profound ignorance of NK customs and laws, many of which could have been easily picked up by glancing at a Wikipedia article. In one section, she asked whether a group of NK citizens believed Kim Il Sung "uses magic." This asinine question was the final straw for me, and I turned off the program. I'm really disappointed that she approached this topic so foolishly. In fact, I have seen her work in other documentaries, such as one profiling California prisons, and her work was no better; I find myself continually amazed that she was appointed to this job. She may be a "diversity hire," but NatGeo could have done much, much better. So overall, the topic and general concept behind this documentary was excellent, but the narrator / interviewer did such a poor job that all NatGeo's production money and hard work was wasted. The program is essentially unwatchable, unless you turn down the volume and just watch the pictures.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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