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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.
Paul Courtenay Hyu,
Over the course of one year, this film follows the life of an ordinary Pyongyang family whose daughter was chosen to take part in one of the famous Korean "Spartakiads". The ritualized explosions of color and joy contrast sharply with pale everyday reality, which is not particularly terrible, but rather quite surreal, like a typical life as seen "through the looking glass".Written by
The script of this film was assigned to us by the North Korean SOE. They also kindly provided us with an around the clock escort service, chose our filming locations and looked over all the footage we shot to make sure that we did not make any mistakes in showing the life of a perfectly ordinary family in the best country in the world, with a daughter preparing to join the Children's Union - her first step on the way to becoming a part of the system dreamed by the Great Kim Il-Sung. See more »
This would be a great documentary if permitted so by North Korea. However, movies transfer emotions from the location or situation to a person watching it. As my summary says, it did it perfectly. We cant really see what is happening inside North Korea and how people live their every day lives but this certainly gives an idea how it may be in reality. It still leaves a great deal of details to our imagination but certainly gives us a hint.
I will not comment or review this piece from a technical point of view as I could not focus on this part watching this. What we need to focus on, are certain aspects of life in North Korea and this staged documentary surely gives us an overview. You end up feeling upset, angry and at the same time heartbroken and in tears.
Filmmakers deserve thumbs up for trying to achieve the impossible and they did the best from what they have been permitted to get and still came out of country all together and alive.
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