5.3/10
156
5 user 6 critic

The Schoolgirl's Diary (2007)

Han nyeohaksaengeui ilgi (original title)
A student experiences different conflicts as she works toward being a scientist.

Director:

In Hak Jang

Writer:

Jun-bo An
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Pulgasari (1985)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In feudal Korea, the evil King becomes aware that there is a peasant rebellion being planned in the country. He steals all the iron farming tools and cooking pots from the people so that he... See full summary »

Director: Sang-ok Shin
Stars: Son Hui Chang, Ham Gi Sop, Jong-uk Ri
Sea of Blood (1969)
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A revolutionary novel, film, and opera created in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) about the mass killings during the long period of the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Director: Ik-gyu Choe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In a humble rural village, a man aspires of leaving his home behind and moving to the prosperous city, while his lover wishes to stay and transform the town into an ideal and harmonious community.

Directors: Eun-hie Choi, Kyun Soon Jo, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ryung Jo Kim, Mi Ran Oh, Yeon Ock Song
Full Circle (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A moving road movie about two retired bus drivers, old Zhou and old Ge, who find themselves in the same retirement home and decide to escape for one final escapade with a gang of other senior citizens.

Director: Yang Zhang
Stars: Huanshan Xu, Tian-Ming Wu, Bin Li
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A female coal miner in communist Korea aspires to be an acrobat in a circus.

Directors: Nicholas Bonner, Anja Daelemans, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jong-sim Han, Chung-guk Pak, Yong Ho Ri
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Ready for a Marxist-Leninist-musical documentary? The Busby Berkeley of propaganda, Jim Finn, follows a South Korean video artist in North Korea who hopes to revitalize Juche cinema, ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Finn
Stars: Jung Yoon Lee, Daniela Kostova, Sung Kim
Documentary | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of the South Korean actor, Choi Eun-hee, and her ex-husband and film director, Shin Sang-ok, who were individually kidnapped and reunited by dictator and film fan Kim Jong-il to force them to develop North Korea's film industry.

Directors: Ross Adam, Robert Cannan
Stars: Eun-hie Choi, Paul Courtenay Hyu, Sang-ok Shin
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Mi-hyang Pak Mi-hyang Pak ... Su-ryeon
Jin-mi Kim Jin-mi Kim ... Su-ok, her elder sister
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cheol Kim Cheol Kim ... San-myeong, her father
Jeong-mi Kim Jeong-mi Kim
Myeong-woon Kim Myeong-woon Kim
Yong Suk Kim Yong Suk Kim ... Jeong Ran, her Mother (as Yeong-suk Kim)
Hak-myeong Shin Hak-myeong Shin
Edit

Storyline

A student experiences different conflicts as she works toward being a scientist.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school uniform | north korea | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

North Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

26 December 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Schoolgirl's Diary See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,770
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mansudae Art Studio See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After it showing at the Pyongyang Film Festival, a French company bought the rights making it the first North Korean film to secure a distribution deal in over a decade. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
More 'exploring' than reviewing
28 April 2012 | by joinee_clearySee all my reviews

For a nation with such hatred towards "Imperialist America", the opening shot of A Schoolgirl's Diary is particularly vivid. You see a young girl walking away from school with a Mickey Mouse backpack. This decision confused me, so reply if you have any idea what the meaning of it is. Now, to unemotionally explain the premise, the story is of a girl called Soo- Ryun who is ashamed of her father because he hasn't obtained a doctorate, but she is unaware of the hard work he does. An obsession with qualifications and being the best is very prominent, which is seen in Soo-OK - Soo-Ryun's sister - whose aim is to join the women's national football team. She is so keen on this that whenever she is on screen, we are made to think about football, for example when she's in bed doing headers with a balloon.

In a similar-but-not-really way to Vertigo, you get a constant repetition of certain colours in shots. In Vertigo it is rather vividly red and green, and it's infuriating the first time you watch it. With The Schoolgirl's Diary it is the colours of the North Korean flag: Red, white and slightly dark blue. Looking at the frequency at which you see these colours together in clothing and props, it is definitely no coincidence. This brings me to something it has in common with The Flower Girl (1972, also DPRK): it seems to be constructing an audience of people who have never or almost never seen a movie before. However, there is no point in introducing propaganda in subtle(ish) ways like colour palette or elisions to the Juche Idea, as the expected belief of North Korean citizens is mentioned explicitly, through joyous songs about the 'Dear General'. Other more subtle ideology includes representing the leader as a father figure and as a protective umbrella, for accidental humour.

There are a few things to learn from this film about the country's culture, though some of it seems unlikely. In particular I'm thinking of Soo-Ryun's desire to live in a small apartment rather than the lovely detached house they already live in. This seems an odd preference. Are the filmmakers just trying tell their audience that this is what they should like? It was great to hear some references that cross borders. The football lover Soo-OK is described by her uncle as a "female Pele". Esope's Fables is also quoted. A hilarious representation that any culture will recognise is the representation of Soo-Ryun the stock character, 'moody teenager' alongside the school's bitch. Both are hilarious versions of this very familiar representation. Said bitch's malice is directed at Soo-Ryun because of the whole doctorate thing. Something that surprised me was, out of nowhere, Soo-Ryun slapping Soo-OK for being rude to their mother. Perhaps this is more culturally normal, like it is in Bollywood. An unusual view of science is taken and I'm not sure if this reflects how people really feel or if it is just being pushed in this film. The dad thinks that the purpose of science should be to improve a nation and improve its people's lives, therefore there are some areas of science are pointless. No interest in the pursuit of knowledge is given. One more cultural thing I must know more about: what is this fixation North Korea has with piano accordions?

I noticed a few technical flaws that really spoil the smoothness of certain scenes. As it has a fairly classical, traditional score, it would benefit from 'sneaking'** some of the music in, rather than having a violin obtrusively enter a pivotal conversation. The music that BLARES out after the line "Mum has cancer" is also quite irritating. In places the voices have very obviously been recorded in a studio and seem detached from the actor. Often the juxtaposition of shots just doesn't work. The scene where the plug socket bursts into flames is a good example and has that low-angle shot that doesn't fit in anywhere. A broader point covering the whole narrative is that there is not a good sense of changing pace or intensity. It's difficult to know how this could be improved but the nature of the story makes narrative excitement pretty difficult. There is some attempt at narrative cohesion, with a good but unmemorable main theme that plays clearly in the opening scene and at the end to make their ugly apartment block look more aspirational. There is clever non-linear, circular bit of narrative involving a paper aeroplane. In any case, The Flower Girl is a much more polished and professional film.

There are some real gems of quotes in A Schoolgirl's Diary, some of which are amusing and some which are angering. It can be said of many countries that there is only an illusion of choice, summed up in this quote: "A bird can fly because it has wings. A train can move forward because it has rails." It is great to see some real humour, through banter and slapstick, and a football match between scientists and factory workers. Soo-OK joins in and scores of course. The line to end all lines though, is upon erecting a chimney: "Long live thermodynamics!"


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed