Zin-mi lives with her hardworking parents in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a country where the country’s deceased leaders continue to watch over them – their ubiquitous portraits are hanging in living rooms, at school and even in the metro. Zin-mi is about to join the Korean Union for Children, which means she is on the verge of becoming part of this ideal society where grownup stuff like hard work and taking responsibility for yourself are essential. Director Vitaly Mansky was able to film her and her family over the course of a year, though the government watched him like a hawk throughout the entire shoot. In various scenes, we watch as the family gets instructions from above on how they can come across even more ideally as a patriotic entity. It becomes increasingly clear that this film isn’t capturing the real life of a North Korean family, but rather reveals how propaganda is made. And despite everyone’s inexhaustible attempts to showcase that ideal society, Mansky still manages to film the real deal behind it all: from smalltime comrades who fight against sleep during official events to the tears Zin-mi cries at a grueling dance lesson.
Natalia Manskaya for Vertov. Real Cinema, Natalia Manskaya for Vertov
Korea Film Export and Import Corporation, Saxonia Entertainment GmbH, Hypermarket Film
Alexandra Ivanova, Mikhail Gorobchuk