Whether you're singing or not, you must keep your "singing face" on.
February 18, 2011 9:15 AM   Subscribe

In this episode of Al-Jazeera's 101 East, Lynn Lee and James Leong become the first foreigners to film inside Pyongyang's University of Cinematic and Dramatic Arts.

Youtube mirror.

The Juche Tower, referenced in the song the students sing.

As the official blurb mentions, Kim Jong Il's obsession with film is well-documented. See: Pulgarsari (IMDB, a review). Previously on MetaFilter, in MUCH more detail.
posted by WalterMitty (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
AJE is starting to make everything else available look really really sub-par.
posted by hippybear at 9:44 AM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

I have seen Pulgasari. "Sorry" is a good description of it, but I guess that's what happens when you abduct the director.
posted by jtron at 9:58 AM on February 18, 2011

Tip: If you're going to go on a trip to North Korea. Buy a camera that can fake-delete video.
posted by delmoi at 10:13 AM on February 18, 2011

North Korea is more Orwellian than Orwell could have ever dreamed.
posted by tula at 10:14 AM on February 18, 2011

There's some footage about it in the Vice Travel Guide To North Korea
posted by lumpenprole at 10:30 AM on February 18, 2011

Wow, this documentary is more like 8 1/2 than a news report: the acting of the citizens to be actors in a documentary on the world of film making that is only exhibited specifically for the purpose of acting the part of a North Korean actor in a news report about North Korean acting.

Yo Dawg ...
posted by wcfields at 10:55 AM on February 18, 2011

Hmm... a couple of months ago there was a video going around that was some North Korean propaganda. Standard stuff about how great North Korea was, etc. Apparently it was kind of popular in S.K both for it's campyness and because the actress was pretty hot. I'm not sure but I think the actress in that video was the one featured here. I'm not sure though.

Also man, the exuberance they have for 'dear leader' is just crazy. It's really the same as, for example, really christian people talking about Jesus, or how middle eastern Muslims talk about Allah. But instead of an abstract god they are talking about a living person. Crazyness.
posted by delmoi at 11:05 AM on February 18, 2011

The real North Korea can be found in Nothing to Envy.

North Korea can only grow about 60% of its food requirements due to geography constraints - it made up the difference with cheap imports from the USSR - until the early 90s when that system collapsed and the decade became one long famine. Now they get hard currency through various shady means plus food aid from the USA which keeps things going preventing total collapse.
posted by stbalbach at 12:34 PM on February 18, 2011

stbalbach: It's a look into an elite section of North Korean society. I grant that it doesn't show how the vast majority of North Korea lives, but I don't see how it's less "real" than any other view.
posted by micketymoc at 3:08 PM on February 18, 2011

stbalbach: It's a look into an elite section of North Korean society.

Even with them, though, there was a reasonable amount of deprivation, that was what was interesting. I mean the power went out in the middle of shooting, and the studio they were filming in didn't even have heating, and the power went out half way through.
posted by delmoi at 3:50 PM on February 18, 2011

Favorited for giving me a view of a world I would otherwise not have seen.

And because the women in that video, young and old, were ridiculously easy on the eyes.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:54 PM on February 18, 2011

Oh hell yeah I found the video I was thinking of. Actually I don't think it's the same actress. She looks very similar, but I did a side by side comparison and I don't think it's the same person. But doing that I realized just how damn expressive her face is. Just the stills I grabbed, there's a ton of emotion there.
posted by delmoi at 3:08 PM on February 19, 2011

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