unparalleled documentary that follows two north korean girls who are training for the mass games. the games are a large gymnastics exposition which displays the all for one mentality of the nation. thousands of athletes work together doing the same movements; it’s quite an impressive show.
more than anything the film is valuable because it shows a country that is seen by so few. somehow the filmmakers were able to get unfettered access to the families and were able to get out alive. seeing a country that is as isolated and purely communist as is possible for a nation that size is pretty compelling stuff. it’s a great foil for the u.s. and how we live and how we view ourselves.
honestly, i can see the appeal of this kind of communism. they’ve done a good job of balancing the needs of the individual as well as the desire to be a part of something larger. they all have a common enemy (u.s.) which tends to help. they also have a term for individual effort that essentially states that the individual must do everything they can to make do with what they have. it’s the communist equivalent of rugged individualism and it was interesting to see one of the fathers talk about it. they don’t simply submit themselves to the state as we may think from the outside. the reality is more nuanced.
i can’t argue that their system of government is better than ours, but it clearly has its advantages. thought-provoking stuff.