Making movies in North Korea
The films Kim Jong-Un DOES approve of... but would you want to watch Urban Girl Comes To Get Married or The Bloodstained Route Map?
Kim Jong Il was a huge fan of cinema and so the people of North Korea have become avid moviegoers. The deceased Dear Leader had a certain respect for this medium, allegedly calling it the “most powerful for educating the masses”.
He went as far as to write an essay called “Theory of Cinematic Art” in which he explains that “it is cinema's duty to turn people into true communists”. For him, film was “a means of eradicating capitalist elements”. It is in fact an effective means of diffusing propaganda, especially towards the youth. That is why there is a state-run movie studio in Pyongyang.
Kim Jong Il was said to have thousands of films in his personal library and to have 7 theaters built exclusively for him in Pyongyang. Apart from the main studio (Korean Film Studio), other studios have been built in the periphery of the capital.
Kim Jong Il apparently shot a movie about the founder of North Korea, his father Kim Il-Sung, and proclaimed himself a “genius of cinema”!
He even had famous South Korean director, Shin Sang-Ok, and his wife kidnapped in 1978 by the North Korean secret service. He then ordered the famous director from South Korea to make movies for him, providing him with all the money he needed to produce them. He directed more than 20 movies, many of them propaganda. The director was then jailed for having tried to escape. They couple finally managed to successfully flee in 1986. The following year, the Pyongyang Film Festival of Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries began. Facing a lack of participating countries, it opened later to “aligned countries” like France, Germany and Great Britain.
Famous actors are depicted on murals around the capitol and even on official currency. North Korean films tend to portray mostly communist and revolutionary themes