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National Geographic - Inside North Korea
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BUT! There was one thing I noticed. The lack of respect Miss Ling and her cameraman showed sometimes. Their behaviour could've put others in GREAT danger. The first thing was when the camera man lied down on the ground to photograph a statue of Kim Il Sung. They put the guide and the security guard in GREAT danger by doing that. It was easy to see how scared he was when he said he had to leave the country. The guide/guard is the one who'll be accused for letting foreigners behave that way, and might be sent to a gulag camp. (Ms Ling and the crew must've known that it was forbidden in the first place!)
The other thing was when the team visited the old blind woman, and Ms Ling first asks what's the favorite picture of the great leader, and then asks if the great leader can do anything wrong. Had ANYONE of the North Koreans answered those questions in ANY way, it would've meant fatal consequences for them! The North Korean family had no less than six observers observers watching them, and even a fraction of doubt in the faces could've been seen as doubt to the regime. This could've meant DANGER for the family. Consentration camps, torture, execution etc.
I couldn't stop wondering what happened to the North Koreans who appeared in this movie after the film crew left. I can only hope nothing did, but I also fear the worst.
So to Ms Ling and her crew: Remember not to put your objects in danger!
While there are some excellent interviews with North Korean defectors that provide interesting insights, from my perspective, the program's biggest weakness is the fact that it is less than an hour in length and tends to leave the viewer "wanting more." The other negative in my opinion was the choice of Lisa Ling as their correspondent. Granted, North Korea is a world unto itself and though Lisa Ling did a good enough job presenting information, there were numerous times throughout the course of the film where it became clear that she was a little out of her league (for instance, a few of the questions she asked the "typical family" whose home she was allowed to visit, were just ridiculous).
The film also does a nice job illustrating the high level of ideological indoctrination typical of the population. However, even that should be taken with a grain of salt simply because in a society that repressive where strict obedience is the difference between life and death, no outsider will ever be able to know for sure just how much of the ideology the average North Korean citizen actually believes in their heart of hearts and how much of it is merely parroted back as a means of survival. However, at this stage, perhaps that point is moot.
On balance, this is an excellent introduction to the "Hermit Kingdom," and highly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in the one of the most closed societies in the world.
One thing is clear to me... these type of Dynasties never last, eventually they will put themselves into war with South Korea as they did once before (though they do not admit they started it.) After watching many documentaries on the NPRK it is clear the idea that their enormously brain-washed society will rise up against him is not likely at all.
NPRK will have to be overthrow to reunite Korea, and on that day the people of the North will open their eyes for the first time, literally, and see they were totally deceived all for the sake of a few as....es who wanted complete control and to be worshiped as gods.
In their intense determination to highlight North Korea's isolation, the "star" Lisa Ling and the makers of the program also ignored some basic realities. The scenes in the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom reminded me of United Nations Command visitors' briefings at the JSA in the 1970's and 1980's. North Korea is indeed one of the world's most isolated countries and the North Korean people, except for the elite, live with appalling deprivation of all kinds, from nutrition to basic rights.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I use this for teaching at the end of my dystopia unit, and the students love it!Published 21 hours ago by Stel
I love this documentary. It paints a vivid picture of what life is like in North Korea.Published 21 days ago by nicky
What an incredible view into a totally mystifying country that has an utter lack of independent spirit and is overwhelmed by generations of brainwashing.Published 2 months ago by M Sipe
I can't imagine a country like North Korea even exists in this time. I have read a lot of books and watched as many documents as I could find about North Korea and it is just so... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kitchen Witchin
If you want to learn about what goes on in North Korea, this is the film. If you want to learn the true meaning of dictatorship, this is the film. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Author of Lucky Girls Wear Pink