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Under the Sun (2015)Under the Sun (2015)

Under the Sun (2015)

Documentary

7.6

movie

Czech Republic, Germany

English, German, Korean

Instructive, Mind-blowing, Thought-provoking

2015

Vitaliy Manskiy, Vitaly Mansky

Hye-Yong, Lee Zin-Mi, Oh-Gyong

106 min

Synopsis

Over the course of one year, this film follows the life of an ordinary Pyongyang family whose daughter was chosen to take part in Day of the Shining Star (Kim Jong-il's birthday) celebration. While North Korean government wanted a propaganda film, the director kept on filming between the scripted scenes. The ritualized explosions of color and joy contrast sharply with pale everyday reality, which is not particularly terrible, but rather quite surreal.

Our Take

7.6
Bilal Zouheir

When Russian director Vitaly Mansky is commissioned by the North Korean government to make a documentary about an average Pyongyang child, he follows their every guideline. Except the end result, Under The Sun, is the complete opposite of what they had intended. For example starting every take earlier than they thought, he makes the documentary about the watchdogs around the child and other mechanisms of propaganda. He uses quiet storytelling to expose how brainwashing in a fascist regime takes place, and how the people caught in it function. May just be the smartest, most important film you can watch on North Korea.

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