6 user 16 critic

Comrade Kim Goes Flying (2012)

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


Myong-sik Sin (screenplay), Chol Kim (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jong-sim Han Jong-sim Han ... Comrade Kim Yong-Mi
Chung-guk Pak Chung-guk Pak ... Pak Jang-Phil
Yong Ho Ri Yong Ho Ri ... Commander Sok Gun (as Ri Yong-Ho)
Son-nam Kim Son-nam Kim ... Yong Mi's Father
Chang-sun An Chang-sun An ... Jang Phil's Mother
Ik Sung Ri Ik Sung Ri ... Coalmine Manager
Un-yong Kim Un-yong Kim ... Trapeze Artist Ri Su-Yon
Gyong-ok Ryu Gyong-ok Ryu ... Yong Mi's Mother
Mi-Ryong Han Mi-Ryong Han ... Yong Mi as child
Chol Kim Chol Kim ... Steel Foundry Foreman
Dok-min Mun Dok-min Mun ... 'Oldest' at Steel Foundry
Gwang-Song Sin Gwang-Song Sin ... 'Youngest' at Steel Foundry
Kil-Myong Han Kil-Myong Han ... Yong Mi's Grandmother
Song-ran Kim Song-ran Kim ... Yong Mi's best friend
Yong-hui Paek Yong-hui Paek ... Circus Secretary


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


North Korea's first rom-com


Comedy | Romance


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Referenced in The Propaganda Game (2015) See more »

User Reviews

Well-filmed, cheery North Korean film
28 June 2013 | by somebodyatthedoorSee all my reviews

While of course Comrade Kim Goes Flying inevitably contains a certain degree of what Western audiences would see as propaganda, it is the first example of a North Korean film who's main purpose is to entertain and not indoctrinate its audience.

The tale centers on the story of a young coal miner who has always dreamed of flight and who attempts to reach her dream by becoming a trapeze artist in the Pyongyang circus. Along the way she has to pass through several trials including parental disapproval, the contempt of the acrobatic elite and the grueling training program in order to reach her goal.

The acting and cinematography is of a high standard and the acrobatic feats demonstrated are very impressive. The central story of a feisty, strong, independent girl battling against the North Korean class structure (which the film clearly depicts as still existing) will hopefully provide a good role model for North Korean women which has unfortunately been lacking in previous North Korean films.

This being said, the film is very obviously meant as a fantasy and does not reflect the truth about North Korean working class life. It does also contain some relatively clunky feeling propaganda (a strangely placed conversation about 'the leader' ,a few lines about exceeding mining quotas and an extreme over abundance of food etc.)but these parts seemed thrown it at the last moment and were not an integral part of the film.

Overall, I would say that it is well worth a watch but that it is mainly directed towards a North Korean audience and therefore some scenes may seem a little strange to Westerners.

This is probably one of the only films you will ever see with a cement mixing battle between a coal miner and a trapeze artist.

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Official Sites:

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Belgium | UK | North Korea



Release Date:

10 February 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comrade Kim See more »

Filming Locations:

Pyongyang, North Korea


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

6-Track Stereo (5.1 surround)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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