Songs from the North

Songs from the North

Streaming Video - 2014 | Korean
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Songs From the North is an essay film which offers an unique look at the enigma of North Korea, a country typically seen through the distorted lens of jingoistic propaganda and derisive satire. Interweaving footage from director Soon-Mi Yoo's three visits to North Korea together with songs, spectacle, popular cinema and archival footage, Songs From the North tries to understand the psychology and popular imagery of the North Korean people. To look closely and objectively at North Korea, a country that challenges our most fundamental assumptions about the human condition, is ultimately to question the meaning of freedom, love and patriotism.
Publisher: [United States] : Kino Lorber : Made available through hoopla, 2014
Branch Call Number: E-VIDEO
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 72 min.)) : sd., col


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Oct 30, 2016

This Documentary film shows the Producer, Soon-Mi Yoo travel to and in the N Korea! She films, often secretly, the life in N Korea. It would have been nice to have seen more of the life there, but I am guessing she was already risking a great deal! Whenever possible, she interviews some of the N Koreans.. There are many historical events mentioned in this Film, with the accompanying footage!

This Documentary has a strong feel of being homemade! It is of low quality! It needs to be remade! Too many old clips and not enough explanation! I suppose it is because there is so little available from the N Korea! Some of the old historical clips are of a very poor quality and were left unedited! The Author ought to have, also, interviewed some Experts on the North Korea, which could have been done outside of that country!
There are many clips of the cultural dancing, and musical numbers, which are interesting, as they are often used as tools for the N Korean Govt's propaganda! She does, also, provide the translation into English for the songs and other material..

Although in English (translation is provided), this Documentary would probably make more sense for the Korean-speaking people and to the people knowledgeable on the subject!
In the Extra Section, there is a helpful video clip with the Producer of this video commenting.. It is in English, but her voice does not carry well, and is difficult to understand.. The subtitles would have helped!
Although, I have learned a fair amount, and have gotten a better perspective on the subject, I found this Documentary confusing! It has merit, just needs more work!
The level of brainwashing and false propaganda in N Korea is astounding! It reminds me of living in the Communist USSR! I don't know how the N Korean people cope once they realize the lies they have been fed since the cradle! It is not like they can speak up against it all! No such option for them without being denounced and imprisoned, or worse! The families are encouraged to publicly denounce their family members, similar how it was during the Stalin's time, and in China, etc! Extremely oppressive!


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