Tuesday, 2 August 2016

NZIFF: Under the Sun

The Sun in this case is North Korea, and we are Under The Sun.

The basic set up of this movie is that this is a documentary about a young girl joining the Children's Union. The documentary is written, approved, and overseen by the DPRK... so they helped create this. But does that mean this is a propaganda piece? Not quite...

The filmmakers leave the scenes running a little too long. They leave in the instructor (who I think was the Korean director working with them) telling them what to do. We see a few different takes of scenes. And we have some b-roll footage that might not show an entirely brilliant light. The only thing the film maker adds beyond that is a few subscript notes to explain what was originally in place, like Zim-mi's parents having other jobs and where the script wholesale added scenes.

That said, what we get is that NK is largely a personality cult run state with indoctrination education. Although they don't point out that ultra-conservative ideologies do exactly the same thing (because they are staying entirely within NK), whereas I'm now tempted to parallel this film with some teaching styles happening in America...

On one hand, the film makers get away with this. On the other hand, they had so much film from running the camera all the time (as documentary crews do), that they had plenty of material to work with.

While I'm sure the DPRK wouldn't like this edit, this is their own film used against them.


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