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8th DMZ Docs(2016)

I AM DOCU



The Propaganda Game

Álvaro Longoria

  • Spain
  • 2015
  • 95min
  • DCP
  • color

Synopsis

북한 정부를 위해 일하는 유일한 외국인인 알렉산드로 카오데베노스의 덕으로 북한사회를 촬영할 수 있게 된 스페인 감독은 호기심을 가득 안고 여정을 시작한다. 아이들의 공연과 고층 빌딩들, 번듯한 관공서와 학교, 놀이공원을 둘러보며 감독은 의문을 품게 되고, 북한 사회의 여러 ‘플레이어’들과 그들이 ‘진실’을 조작하는 전략들에 관심을 갖게 된다. 허위보도와 반쪽 짜리 진실은 관객들이 스스로 결론에 도달하도록 이끌고, 진실을 간파하는 것이 얼마나 어려운 일인지 숙고하게 한다.

Review

‘Propaganda Game’ means steering the public opinion in a particular direction with a certain intention and this is same as a power game. Director Álvaro Longoria shoots this documentary with the permission of the North Korean government. He introduces the international opinion on North Korea, the exterior framework and the specific purpose by the North as a game.

This film captures the expert explanation on North Korean discourse & collective group image regulated by the media and the voices of the North Korean people. The North Korean frame made from the outside is a stereotype.

It depicts North Korea as the axis of evil, the place of three hereditary dictatorships, the country that violates human rights thoroughly, the secretive country, the country that ritualistically parades military force and the country with people acting as puppets worshiping their leader as a father figure.

However Longoria presents the North Korean people's voices of resistance, consent & belief in the system as a voluntary one. The director focuses and highlights the lead agencies of the North Korean society, the national policy content that the practician advocates, considering the collective family of nation values.

Especially through Spanish man Alejandro who praises the North Korean regime inside North Korea and outside and his interviews reveal the system and activities the interviews the fact that there is another layer of propaganda being created.

On the other hand, the director points out the distorted reports on the story of Jang Sung-taek execution and leaking false tales of 'Coke' being prohibited and make a point that the current attitude of the western media is not an objective one but a relationship sharing an interest.

[Kwonjo Geum-sang]​

Director

  • Álvaro Longoria

    Song of the Clouds, The Last Colony (2012) “The Propaganda Game” is a documentary film that brings the audience closer to North Korea, closer than they have ever seen it before, and all while depicting the fierce propaganda battle the country is currently going through, both internally and outside of its borders.North Korea, the most impenetrable country in the world, is deeply fascinating to most people. It’s the last bulwark of communism, the unpredictable, fearsome enemy, where devotion to its leader is almost religious, the country of impossible news stories…Since I started reading about the country, I noticed that the news related to it was always outlandish, improbable and surreal. Propaganda had to be the main character in our film. North Korea was indeed fascinating, but it was also the perfect environment for information manipulation on all sides.Ever since we produced “Comandante”, “Looking for Fidel” and “Persona Non Grata” with Oliver Stone, we had wanted to film a documentary in North Korea. It seemed an impossible task. Our multiple requests received no answer whatsoever. Then one day, I read about the only foreigner working for North Korea’s Government. It was a Catalan nobleman, a communist since his teenage years, who had become the unofficial North Korean ambassador: Alejandro Cao de Benós. I contacted him on Facebook and presented my idea. This time, I had my answer.After a year of negotiations, North Korea opened its doors but not without some conditions. The rules were: “You cannot go around on your own. You cannot deviate from the given itinerary. When we tell you to stop filming, you have to stop filming immediately. Otherwise, we will take away your camera and everything you have recorded. You cannot film any military facilities.”We agreed on these terms and in Spring 2014 my camera crew of two, Rita Noriega and Diego Dussuel, and myself, finally obtained a visa allowing us into the country. We filmed non-stop for ten days. Thanks to our host Alejandro, we managed to put our Korean guides more and more at ease and deviate from their strict itinerary of monuments and colossal constructions that hardly reflected the country’s reality, or any other country’s for that matter.We had the chance to interview citizens that we stopped on the street, and they looked bewildered and scared as they responded to our questions. They all tried to say the right thing. Many of them had probably never seen a foreigner before, let alone a film crew.After leaving North Korea, we interviewed several experts on the country as well as dissidents, journalists, human right activists and historians.The documentary is a road movie full of anecdotes and surreal moments; it analyses information and its manipulation, as it happens in North Korea but also in other fields on a daily basis.We also examine the implementation of propaganda. Not only as used by the North Korean Government on its own people and towards the outside, but also the agendas and interests that influence the information shown on international media when it comes to North Korea. Far from casting light on its “reality”, it seems clear that there are many different realities depending on who is reporting, how they are doing so, and how you listen to it. Ultimately, the purpose of this documentary is to provide information and testimonies —it is up to the audience to reach their own conclusions.​​ 

Credit

  • ProducerÁlvaro Longoria
  • Screenwriter Álvaro Longoria
  • Cinematography Diego Dussuel, Rita Noriega
  • Editor Alex Marquez, Victoria Lammers
  • Music Fernando Velázquez
  • Sound Charly Schmukler

Contribution / World Sales

Contribution / World Sales  Memento Films International

Phone  33 1 53 34 90 33

E-mail  festival@memento-films.com

Website  http://international.memento-films.com​