9th DMZ Docs(2017)
I AM DOCU
Who really knows anything about North Korea beyond its borders? Whatever we see or hear about this isolated land is always the same. Award-winning filmmaker Sung-Hyung Cho pursues this question from right within its midst – in North Korea. This film portrays the people behind the persistent clichés and stereotypes of a misunderstood nation and provides an in-depth look behind the garish façade of propaganda in a living environment that is usually inaccessible to us.
The film has a behind story about the director Cho Sung-hyung who naturalized himself as a German citizen giving up Korean citizenship in order to film in North Korea. North Korea has settled as one of few closed nations in the world. The country has also been typified as a monstrous theater state filled with the people whose subjectivity or identity removed while the image of mad dictator has been underlined by outer world.
Baekdusan, the birthplace of Kim Jong-il and rice collective farm, clothing factory in Wonsan, and Mansudae pool presented in this film are all on the North Korea’s official tour course. That means this film doesn’t swerve from the way most North Korea related films covered so far. Moreover, the anthem for their leader in uniformity is uncomfortable scene for South Koreans to watch while it’s just an ordinary event for North Korean people after all these 70 years of division.
Nevertheless, this film has different points from other films on North Korea. It was taken without any guards as if there existed a sort of trust of North Korea. It is worth notice that the film throws some uncomfortable or sensitive questions within allowed spaces and tries to talk with North Koreans about their days and thoughts. Most of all, northern area’s beautiful landscape is just peaceful as much as our hometown in our good memories. However, watching characters presenting powerful sense of revolution, can we overcome a huge difference created by time and space out of joint although we are said to be fellow countryman, brothers and sisters? It is just suffocating since we never know the answer. I wonder if this is some helplessness made by divided system continued in a stalemate without allowing meetings between North and South Koreans. [Kwonjo Geum-sang]
2 Voices (2015)Far East Devotion- Love Letters from Pyongyang (2015)16 x Germany (2013)11 Friends (2012)Home from Home (2009)
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