Sunday, January 17, 2016

SONGS FROM THE NORTH : BEYOND THE CULT OF THE KIMS



What with the clearly unbalanced head of North Korea's recent bombast, this week's arts and culture column is especially timely: a reflection on documentarian Soon-Mi Yoo's "Songs from the North."

The piece begins:

North Korea is perhaps the most secretive, least-known country on earth. A totalitarian dictatorship, its cult of personality has elevated three generations of the Kim family, starting with Kim Il Sung (1912-1994), to the status of gods.

Soon-Mi Yoo, a professor of film and video at the Massachusetts College of Arts, grew up in South Korea. At REDCAT recently, she introduced the documentary she directed and edited, “Songs from the North.”

“As a child, North Korea was always in our consciousness. Threats, propaganda. We were so close yet North Korea was a world away.”

The film took four years to make. She visited North Korea three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

Even so, the country remained “a mysterious place.” Like all visitors, she was closely monitored, accompanied at all times by minders, and taken to the same few sites to which foreigners are allowed access.


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.



2 comments:

  1. Love this piece. Fantastic work Heather.

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  2. Read The Cleanest Race by B.R. Myers, if you get the chance. It makes those horrifying propaganda videos from the North a bit more comprehensible (though no less horrifying).

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