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Welcome To North Korea

The winner of the 2001 International Emmy award for Best Documentary, Welcome To North Korea is a revealing documentary about the most secretive country on earth, North Korea.

Dutch filmmaker Peter Tetteroo and his associate Raymond Feddema spent a week in and around the North Korean capital of Pyongyang — ample time to represent the starvation and deprivation afflicting a good portion of the population, and to offset such “contemporary” imagery as cars and public facilities with the conspicuous nonuse of these trappings.

This film, shot mostly covertly, shows the irony of a regime where 20 million people lived in poverty, some on the brink of starvation, while former dictator Kim II Sung built extravagant monuments to reflect his power. He fostered a grotesque personality cult, which his son and successor Kim Jong Il perpetuates. All around the capital, Pyongyang, an endless stream of propaganda glorifies the leaders. Monuments and museums pay homage to them, but they are strangely empty.

Things you’ll learn from this video:

  • It’s illegal for a citizen to look a foreigner in the eye in North Korea.
  • Music from loudspeakers wake the entire city of Pyongyang up at 7am every morning.
  • Elderly people and handicapped are shipped out of the city, or required to stay indoors.
  • Confucianism makes people extremely deferential to authority and hierarchy.
  • The CIA admits “we know next to nothing about what happens in this country.”

Watch the full documentary (53 minutes)

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