North Korea, 2012, color / black and white, HDcam, 96'

During a trip to Seoul, translator Sabine Program was approached by a couple that claimed to be North Korean dissidents. They handed her a DVD with the request to translate and disseminate it. The film features a North Korean scientist whose identity has been concealed, who uses hundreds of TV excerpts and archive footage to show what's wrong with Western visual and consumption culture. In the tradition of Michael Moore, the film attacks the moral attenuation, political manipulation and hyper-consumerism that characterize the Western world. In chapters with titles like "Rewriting History," "Advertising" and "The Cult of Celebrity," we are treated to a lineup of the most embarrassing occidental excesses and globalization, a point of view that remarkably resembles the recent Occupy movement: the "psychological warfare" at the hands of multinationals, shopping-obsessed consumers and the failure of democracy. Then there's time for the "Grab it!" culture of the one percent and additional moral deterioration in the form of Paris Hilton, unethical TV shows and violent movies and games. Toward the end of this propaganda piece, the role of North Korea in all of this becomes clear: the country would like to offer itself as headquarters for the mounting fight against consumer slavery and greed worldwide.


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