19 user 26 critic

A State of Mind (2004)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 2004 (UK)
A British documentary that follows two young North Korean girls as they prepare for the Mass Games, the world's largest choreographed gymnastics performance.


Daniel Gordon


Daniel Gordon
1 nomination. See more awards »




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

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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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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Alternate Versions

Italian version of this title (broadcast on TV channel "Cult") has a different soundtrack during the ending exhibition. See more »

User Reviews

30 April 2005 | by td2036See all my reviews

The most interesting comment from director Daniel Gordon at the Tribeca Film Festival's screening of this movie was about the difficulties encountered in making this film, none of which came from state censors or anyone at all in North Korea. The most resistance came from Western entities (distributors, studios) that dismissed the film as inaccurate because it did not conform to their own notions of what life in North Korea was really like. The tone of this film, with the lives of two young gymnasts at its center, is straight-forward and unpreachy. Aside from brief glimpses of the obligatory posters condemning the U.S., masses in blue suits swearing allegiance to the socialist cause, and abundant references to the General, what we mostly see are the two girls and the intimate details of their lives, singing karaoke with their families, preparing for school in the morning, being chided for not eating their breakfast or doing their homework, and struggling through hours of exhausting gymnastic practice. There is also the spectacular, dizzying footage of the mass games, which alone would be worth the movie ticket. There was never the feeling that this is meant to be an "inside-look," even though the film does owe much of the fascination surrounding it to its subject matter. It was enlightening and entertaining to see what life is like in Pyongyang, but to approach this film as simply a bit of cultural curiosity is to miss the richer experience it offers, one that had me rooting and fretting for the two girls as they approach their final performance, and hoping that their wish to perform in front of the General comes true.

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Official Sites:

BBC Four [UK] | Official site [UK]




English | Korean

Release Date:

2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A State of Mind See more »

Filming Locations:

Pyongyang, North Korea


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,515, 14 August 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

VeryMuchSo Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


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