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Kimjongilia


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Kimjongilia + National Geographic - Inside North Korea + ABC News Primetime North Korea: Inside the Shadows
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kim Jong Il
  • Directors: N.C. Heikin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: 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: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003VZNAV2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,518 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kimjongilia" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From Executive Producer Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas, Cold Creek Manor), KIMJONGILIA is the first film to fully expose the humanitarian crisis of North Korea, NC Heikin s stylish, deeply moving documentary is centered around astonishing interviews with survivors of North Korea s vast and largely hidden prison camps, and interspersed with archival footage of North Korean propaganda films and original performance. Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival

Review

Passionate and artisticelevates fascinating, woeful facts into a wholly elevated realm. --John Anderson, VARIETY

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 23, 2010
Format: DVD
Vaclav Havel calls North Korea "one of the most staggering human-rights and humanitarian disasters in the world." Although the isolated nation has been featured in international headlines for its repressive regime and military aggression, most Westerners are woefully unaware of its human rights violations that have cost the lives of millions of North Koreans.

I had the opportunity of seeing this film at a local screening, at which the filmmaker answered questions. A Jewish woman, she decided to make the movie after hearing of the tragedy going on in North Korea. She said, "I could not sit quietly and let another genocide occur only sixty years after my own people were nearly wiped out by Hitler." This passion comes through her small, lean frame, and she fought with great tenacity to push this project to completion, traveling to various countries in an effort to raise funds for it.

"Kimjongilia" is a flower named after North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il. The movie uses this symbol to show how indoctrination has occurred--many would call it brainwashing--turning Kim Jong-il into a near-godlike figure in the eyes of his people, even while millions have starved and suffered imprisonment. The movie follows the stories of four or five main people, showing the things they endured before finally escaping into South Korea or China. Even then, their lives have been endangered. It's a harrowing peek into this mysterious land, a film told with originality and a searing rawness. In all honesty, there are times that the music becomes redundant and the pacing flags. It is not a sleek propaganda piece, aimed at the masses--though the masses should know the truth.

"Kimjongilia," despite its faults, is a timely and vital cry for help to the free world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Diego Simonson on January 12, 2011
Format: DVD
As someone who knows quite a lot already about North Korea (including having visited there - though by no means suggesting that makes me an expert), much of it covered themes or "facts" (in quotes because of the difficulty about being certain re: many specifics regarding North Korea) of which I was already aware; its real value for me, thus, was in its personal interviews of defectors and their experiences, whether it be in prison camps or former servants of the elite. One particular thing about it I found quite irritating were these 'interpretive dance' segments that were interspersed throughout the film; I felt these melodramatic excerpts actually detracted from my concentration on reflecting on the intensity of many of the defectors' personal stories. Overall, though, I'd say it was interesting and I would recommend it, though it would also be useful to supplement it with other North Korean documentaries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amaranth on July 23, 2012
Format: DVD
"KimJongilia" is a documentary about North Korea produced by Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas,The Browning Version) and while Figgis is more well-known for his movie about an alcoholic Nicolas Cage spending his final days in Las Vegas, this is his hidden masterpiece. "Kimjongilia" is composed of interviews with real heroes- those who have escaped North Korea and are brave in denouncing the tyrannical regime. Forget Superman, Batman, or the Avengers- these people have lived in harrowing circumstances. One survivor was born in the ominously named "Total Control Camp"-another was imprisoned because her friend was a lover of Kim Jong-Il and knew the pillow talk. One survivor found spiritual sustenance in literature like Anna Karenina, Resurrection (Oxford World's Classics), and was inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo to escape. While the interpretive dancing segments are jarring, the overall narrative is powerful. These are stories of true heroism and faith.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Marie G VINE VOICE on January 18, 2012
Format: DVD
This film brings to light some of the truly horrible crimes against human life that are happening in North Korea and to North Koreans trying to break free. It has interviews from people who have successfully escaped including a concert pianist, several students and a man who was inspired to escape because he read a smuggled copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. It talks about how people escaped and about the prison camps that forced them to escape. Each person speaks about the people they left behind and how they have no way of knowing what happened to their loved ones.

For me this documentary could have been better in presenting its material. It had a dancer in North Korean uniform between various scenes and it also lacked a narrator. It would have better served the material and the message of the film if it had a narrator unifying it instead of the interpretive dancer which was distracting for me.

Overall it was still informative and successfully brought its subjects to life.
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