6.8/10
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10 user 19 critic

The Propaganda Game (2015)

Granted controlled access by national officials, filmmaker Álvaro Longoria tours North Korea to contrast his findings to the typical Western depiction of the nation.

Director:

Álvaro Longoria
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Álvaro Longoria Álvaro Longoria ... Himself - Filmmaker
Simon Cockerell Simon Cockerell ... Himself - Koryo Tours Manager
Kang Hyoin Gyu Kang Hyoin Gyu ... Himself - Officer, Committe for Cultural Relations DPRK
Barbara Demick Barbara Demick ... Herself - Writer & Specialist in North Korea
Kim Yu Song Kim Yu Song ... Himself - Guide, Munsu Water Park
Michael Kirby Michael Kirby ... Himself - Chair, UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea
Rajiv Narayam Rajiv Narayam ... Himself - Former East Asia Researcher, Amnesty International
Han Il Han Il ... Himself - Korean People's Army (as Colonel Han Il)
Andrei Lankov Andrei Lankov ... Himself - Specialist in North Korea
Ahm Myeong Chul Ahm Myeong Chul ... Himself - North Korean Defector
Alejandro Cao de Benos de Les y Pérez Alejandro Cao de Benos de Les y Pérez ... Himself - Special Delegate Foreign Relations, DPRK (as Alejandro Cao de Benos)
Yun So Hyon Yun So Hyon ... Herself - Officer, Committee for Cultural Relations, DPRK
Kim Ji Hye Kim Ji Hye ... Herself - Guide, Juche Tower
Kim Chang Gyong Kim Chang Gyong ... Himself - Officer North Korean Association of Social Scientists
Xiaohe Cheng Xiaohe Cheng ... Himself - Associate Professor, International Studies
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Storyline

North Korea, formerly known as the hermit kingdom, is perhaps the largest source of instability as regards world peace. Its border is one of the most militarized in the world. The lack of impartial information, both inside and coming out of the country, is the perfect setting for a propaganda war, which will be analyzed in the film through numerous examples of the surprising way in which information is manipulated, in and about North Korea. Alejandro Cao de Benos, the sole foreigner who works for the DPRK Government, and many locals will show us their vision of the reality in North Korea. The other side of the story will be reflected through interviews to South Korean citizens, human rights advocates, diplomats, propaganda experts, etc.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

Spain | France

Language:

Spanish | Korean | English

Release Date:

30 October 2015 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

The Korean Dream See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
North Korea is not a Communist Idyll; shocker type documentary.
11 June 2016 | by t-dooley-69-386916See all my reviews

Film maker Álvaro Longoria managed to get permission to film inside the DPRK but it was a guided tour – that was to be expected. His tour was exclusively of the cosseted capital Pyongyang. However, Longoria knew that there would be restrictions on what he could and more importantly could not film.

His guides take him on a tour of all the new shiny buildings and installations and shows us all the shiny happy North Koreans enjoying the gifts of the benevolent Kim Jong-un. Everywhere there are statues and pictures of 'The Great Leaders' who must be constantly adored as some sort of deity and the people seem to have genuine emotions about these dictators. The film also interviews experts and defectors as well as human rights activists and strives to show both sides in the ever growing propaganda war.

The attempts to be balanced are credit worthy and Longoria himself missed his calling for the diplomatic mission. I was reminded of a Benny Hill sketch where an advertising board said 'People buy Smiths Pies because they don't know any better'; and I think that is why North Koreans seem to be so content with their lot in the World – they just do not know what they are missing. He did mention the markets and the hard currency shops which the regime has had to allow to exist as it was too troublesome to uninvent 'choice' as it were.

What is left out is equally important and any one who has studied this 'hermit kingdom' will know of some of the bizarre and cruel abuses of human rights, but the whole point of the film is to redress the more extreme distortions of propaganda and try to see if there is any unvarnished truth that would help us understand them. In the end I felt he did a rather good job and as such can recommend to anyone who has an interest in modern social history.


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