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The North Korean Film that Isn't and the Western Decadence that Is
I got the pleasure of enjoying this film as it was originally intended to be enjoyed. That is (if you are unaware of the film's origins) in the view that this was made for North Koreans originally. I found out roughly a week later that, sadly, the film was not from the hermit empire. Please, please, do not let that very minute fact deter you from witnessing this fantastic movie. It would be an absolutely depressing injustice to yourself to miss this opportunity to be surprised.
More to the film, it startled me deeply. I found it on YouTube, where the producer uploaded the whole thing, and was enticed by the concept of a North Korean film firing back accusations of propaganda. I'm far from politically biased, and though I do not sympathize with the North Korean government one bit, I have always felt that our lives in the West are products that we chose based mostly on class in a system that keeps us perpetually confused and complacent.
As the film progressed, I increasingly grew delirious as the many thoughts and concepts I've long had were funneled into a proper seemingly-authentic view from the outside in. The feelings you get sometimes, sitting with those you know, or sitting on the bus, or dealing with anything. The conversations we have, centered around gossip and products; new flashy technology and the reasons why or why not certain meaningless things are better than the other meaningless things. It frustrates me; it is modern-day alienation. We're all alienated, even if we sit next to each other, or feel we're in love.
Those who spit in the face of this aren't only shut down, they're outright forgotten. Our collective memory is depressingly short-term, letting us be surprised and "satisfied" with our world. Some real Brave New World stuff is happening in our lives now. We're reaching a pinnacle point where our lives, with all the meaning we attribute to it, via our fancy car, our hard-working job, our education, our money, really makes us the most useless population on the world for anything like cooperation, peace, or compassionate humanity.
This film is undoubtedly radical. Undoubtedly. It has since been "revealed" to be little more than an unusual social experiment, but it seems deep down that it is a proper leftist rant; the struggle and frustration that really only a Westerner could understand. It feels that in order to keep the topic away from the issue of discussing alternatives, it fell back on the incredibly controversial North Korea. People aren't allowed to view North Korea in anything but the most negative light, lest they be considered by some group somewhere as a sympathizer and potential terrorist. It is an excellent base from which to smash a lamp in the face of capitalism - the Enemy of the State. North Korea is our Emmanuel Goldstein, the object of our vibrant Two Minutes Hate. Who they are really doesn't matter anymore, what matters here is that we are having Two Minutes Hate. That's what this film aims to examine; our lives.
But this film is not about North Korea. No attempt by this movie really makes much effort to make this actually about North Korea. It is about us, and our countries, and our fellow man's struggle in it. It is an attempt to not only highlight, but force us to understand via shock, that we are not free simply because we are capable of saying so. It is an excellent video to educate Westerners who feel disenfranchised on some of the more sneaking methods by which we are trapped, by which we are not only put in chains, but are helping tighten them daily.
I give this movie a 10. I'd give this film another 10 for every ten some other fool felt compelled to give yet another super hero movie, or yet another drama series on television, or yet another cellphone's operating system.
Those who disagree with this film will do so because they feel capitalism is working properly and that this libelous slanderous lies against the Great West are fabrications and falsehoods cherished by leftists. Those who enjoy this film usually had a very deep personal connection with the film, sympathies difficult to articulate. It is more than just having someone agree with you, it's having someone understand your situation. It's more than just a leftist rant; it's a leftist cry.
The message from this movie is loud and clear: Wake up, and wake your fellow man. We need to take action.