I Am Sun Mu

  • Adam Sjoberg
  • United States
  • 2015
  • 87 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Panorama
Sun Mu is one of the first North Korean artists who can share their work with the world. He fled to South Korea in the 1990s and has since created moving paintings: red, white and blue pictures of dictator Kim Il-Sung and sweet portraits of the country’s indoctrinated youth. Despite his depressing past, he is not out for revenge. He still hopes to see both Koreas reunited. In I Am Sun Mu, a curator encounters his highly politicized work and wants to exhibit in his gallery in Beijing. Tensions gradually mount as it becomes clear that showing Sun Mu’s work is a risky business. The artist and the curator fear North Korean embassy intervention, and due to the country’s excellent ties with China, the latter’s government might ban the exhibition. Sun Mu is also scared of repercussions against his family in North Korea and refuses to be filmed. While the camera records everything from his slogans to his unmade bed, his face remains a mystery. Animations of his artistic creations ingeniously underscore his life story.


  • 87 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Chinese, Korean
  • Subtitles in: English
Adam Sjoberg
Adam Sjoberg for Required Reading
Adam Sjoberg
Ryan Wehner
Mariana Blanco

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere

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