The Great North Korean Picture Show

Film Screenings

The Great North Korean Picture Show

2012 Release

Director – Lynn Lee

Singapore | Documentary | Korean with English subtitles | 94 mins

North Korea’s film industry is a vital tool in the regime’s vast propaganda machinery. Now, for the first time ever, foreign filmmakers have been allowed into the country’s only film school – an elite institution where young talents are trained to create works that will not only entertain, but help shape the psyche of an entire nation. Kim Un Bom and Ri Yun Mi are two aspiring actors handpicked to become future movie stars. Idealistic and ambitious, they have huge dreams. Their lives are a reflection of how the best and brightest live in the world’s most secretive state. Over at the North Korean Film Studio, Director Pyo Hang is racing to complete the country’s latest blockbuster, a period drama featuring a cast of hundreds. It’s a highly stressful environment and Pyo has his work cut out – he must not only rally his cast and crew, he must deliver a masterpiece that will please his leaders.

Industri filem Korea Utara adalah alatan penting dalam jentera propaganda meluas rejim tersebut. Kini, untuk pertama kali, pembikin filem luar negara dibenarkan untuk menjejakkan kaki ke satu-satunya sekolah filem negara tersebut – sebuah institusi elit di mana bakat-bakat muda dilatih untuk menghasilkan karya yang bukan sahaja menghiburkan, tetapi juga membentuk pemikiran seluruh negara. Kim Un Bom dan Ri Yun Mi adalah dua orang pelakon baharu yang terpilih khusus untuk menjadi bintang filem masa hadapan. Idealistik dan bercita-cita tinggi, mereka menyimpan impian besar. Kehidupan mereka adalah cerminan kepada bagaimana golongan terbaik dan terpintar melalui kehidupan di negara paling berahsia tersebut. Di Studio Filem Korea Utara, Pengarah Pyo Hang mengejar masa untuk menyiapkan filem pecah panggung terbaharu, sebuah filem drama masa lampau yang membariskan ratusan pelakon. Ia sebuah keadaan yang amat menekan dan hasil kerjanya sudah ditentukan – beliau bukan sahaja perlu mengumpulkan pelakon dan krewnya, tetapi juga perlu menghasilkan sebuah karya yang menyenangkan pemimpinnya.

The Guardian – “Behind the scenes of the propaganda movie industry: documentary film-makers Lynn Lee and James Leong followed the making of an anti-Japanese propaganda movie meant to glorify North Korea’s 50 year-old Songun or ‘military first’ campaign. These excerpts from their documentary, The Great North Korean Picture Show, reveal the determination of cast and crew to please the Pyongyang regime”

Recent Screening -Bergen International Film Festival – Norway, Oct 2020


Watch on CloudTheatre: The Great North Korean Picture Show