Under the loving but firm guidance of an old fan turned director and cultural diplomat and to the surprise of a whole world, the ex-Yugoslavian cult band Laibach becomes the first foreign rock group ever to perform in the fortress state of North Korea. Confronting strict ideology and cultural differences, the band struggles to get their songs through the needle's eye of censorship before they can be unleashed on an audience never before exposed to alternative rock'n'roll. Meanwhile, propaganda loudspeakers are being set up at the border between the two Koreas and a countdown to war is announced. The hills are alive...with the sound of music.
Laibach are a Slovenian art-rock group, who in 2015 went to play a gig in North Korea whose setlist comprised songs from 'The Sound of Music'; this film documents the story. Unsurprisingly, it's a strange tale, but it's also a very hard one to take seriously. Partly, it's because the band themselves deadpan every comment: in Europe, they perform dressed as Nazis, in North Korea they talk of "the most perfect communism". And we (and it seems, also they) actually see very little of North Korean society: film of their strangely mannered discussions with the staff at their concert venue is hard to interpret in the absence of a broader picture. If you told me the entire film was a fake I would believe it, although according to the best information I can find on the internet, the trip actually happened. But don't expect any real insight into life behind the world's thickest iron curtain.
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