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Sunday Docs – Focus on North Korea

“North Korea is the least visited
North Korea is the least known
North Korea is the least understood
country in the world

It is home to Mass Games
the largest choreographed spectacle in the world”

State of Mind begins with these words and as can be expected, viewers will have gained a lot more knowledge about North Korea and its culture once they have seen the film. Directed by Daniel Gordon (2004) the films tells the story of two young North Korean schoolgirls who are training for the Mass Games held in 2003. The girls live with their families in the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, and live a very different life from girls their age in the almost every country of the world, western or not. Their training is intensive to say the least but the girls train outside for hours six days of the week, year round. Their goal is to be chosen for the Mass Games and be a good Communist.

The Mass Games can hardly be described with words. Hundreds of participants dance and do their part in near perfect sync to one another. Its all about the subordination of the individual to the group, teamwork and glory of the state and the late Head of State and Eternal President Kim Il Sung (died in 1994) and his son and successor the General Kim Jong Il. A State of Mind received numerous film festival nominations and awards, f.ex. Special Film Award and award for Best Music at the Pyongyand International Film Festival.

Another interesting documentary about North Korea is WELCOME TO NORTH KOREA! directed by Linda Jablonská (2008). The film follows a group of Czech tourist who travel to North Korea. What they get to see in North Korea is a carefully planned and supervised by guides who make sure they only see what they are allowed to see. And they are not allowed to leave the group or wonder around unsupervised. The film can be streamed for €1,5 at Doc Alliance.

Following it the trailer for A State of Mind and above is a still frame from the film. DVD can be bought directly from the production company Very Much So or from Amazon.

And those wondering what Kim Jong Il is up to these days should visit the website Kim Jong Il Looking at Things where the General can be seen looking at lot of things.


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This entry was posted on 11/12/2011 by in Documentary and tagged , .
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