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Dear Pyongyang

Documentary , Yonghi Yang  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Documentary
  • Directors: Yonghi Yang
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese, Korean
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Typecast Releasing/Tidepoint
  • DVD Release Date: August 31, 2010
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WO5MC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,455 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Special Jury Prize
- Sundance Film Festival

- Asian First Film Festival

- Berlin International Film Festival

Dear Pyongyang received its North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Providing a rare glimpse inside the borders of North Korea, Yonghi Yang's deeply personal (EMRO) documentary presents viewers with a haunting and profound vision of one of the most isolated countries on earth.

The daughter of a leader of the pro-North Korean movement in Japan, filmmaker Yonghi Yang was separated from her brothers at a young age when they were sent to North Korea under a repatriation campaign.

As the economic situation in the North deteriorated, however, the brothers became increasingly dependent for survival on the care packages their parents sent to them from Japan. Yang's moving film records visits to her brothers in Pyongyang, as well as conversations with her father about his ideological faith, his unyielding devotion to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and his feelings of regret over breaking up the family.

DVD Features:

  • Audio: Japanese, Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Review

    The impossible personal and political quandaries experienced by ethnic Koreans living in Japan find gentle, touching expression in Yang Yonghi's documentary. --Variety

    Like Yokohama Mary, Dear Pyongyang focuses on something small but tells a decidedly larger story Here, a family portrait becomes a chronicle of Japan's community of North-Korean zainichi. Made all the more fascinating by the lengthy footage of daily life in Pyongyang. --Midnight Eye Best Films

    Director Yonghi Yang has crafted a deeply personal narrative... this film is highly recommended. --Educational Media Reviews Online

    Customer Reviews

    3.2 out of 5 stars
    3.2 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Very personal, realistic, and intruging January 7, 2012
    If you know something about South Korea, North Korea, and Japan, this film becomes very interesting. You also have to feel the cultural atmosphere of Korean family life. The film seemed very personal to me since I've been married to a Korean (South) for 42 years now, and her Father was much like the father in the film, without the political orientation. And the film did give a rather poignant view of North Korea (which I thought was easy to identify), reinforced for me when I actually visited North Korea three years ago.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary September 1, 2013
    It's very difficult to obtain information of North Korea. I've heard that the director had lost her right to enter North Korea after she published the movie. We should appreciate her courage for taking risks (may not be able to see her brothers and families in North Korea never again) to deliver her reality. Very touching, interesting movie. If you can distinguish Japanese and Korean language, the film would be even more interesting.
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    0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars subtitles August 23, 2011
    Does this have English subtitles at all? There is nothing about subtitles in the details. It would be nice if such things were stated explicitly.
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    0 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Make this film again. I'll buy it. November 26, 2011
    By Doro
    I am extremely disappointed in this movie. I had just finished the last of James Church's Inspector O novels and sorely wanted to see North Korea. All I saw in this film was an old man in his underwear sitting on a bed and then on a bicycle and then in a sick bed and a few photographs. What country was the old man in? No one told me. The only information I got was the printed information at the beginning of the film. I didn't know that the Japanese owned Korea for quite a long while. (Inspector O's grandfather's was a famous general whose claim to fame was that he fought to rid Korea of the Japanese.) The mountains were informative. I gather from Church that there are beautiful mountains in North Korea. and the large ugly but clean apartment building: was that North Korea? and the pretty section of row houses with lots of plants where Grandfather rides his bicycle: was that South Korea? Thanks for the attempt to show us Pyongyang but please make another film and be more clear about what we are looking at. Or just re-edit this one and insert some labels to let us know where we are. Thanks for making it anyway. Yang's visits to her brothers in Pyongyang were not on my copy of the film.
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