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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The only complete and balanced overview of North Korea on DVD, 8 Aug 2009
By 
P. Conlon (London, UK, Europe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Inside North Korea [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
North Korea fascinates due to it being the most isolated (by its own choice) and most severely repressive nation on Earth. There are, to my knowledge, three insightful DVDs on the subject: `A State of Mind', `National Geographic - Inside North Korea' and `North Korea: A Day in the Life'. I have purchased all three. An important point to note is that any footage allowed out of North Korea is almost exclusively of the capital, Pyongyang, which is far from being representative of life in the country as a whole. Only a fraction of the population are specially selected to live there; even for these `privilaged' souls life is bleak and dominated by political propaganda.
`A State of Mind' concentrates on the preparations of two young gymnasts for the showpiece Mass Games performance. Of the three, this DVD gives by far the best and deepest insight into the brainwashed mindset of the North Koreans, with its excellent documentary narration and carefully selected material. It is also important to bear in mind however that this film only shows what is approved by the regime - all the despicable aspects of the North Korean experience are not covered. There also has remarkable footage of the Mass Games of course and the grand military parades (both visually stunning) that seem to be the focus of life there.
`National Geographic - Inside North Korea', being told from our outsider's perspective, is the only complete and balanced overview of North Korea here. It puts North Korea on the map with its historical context, draws widely on footage from many sources and - free of regime censorship - shows as best it can the true horror story that the regime tries to hide at all costs. Information presented on health standards, nutrition and the extensive concentration camp system are quite staggering.
`North Korea: A Day in the Life' is what the title says it is; it follows a day in the life of a `typical' (regime selected) family in Pyongyang. This is not narrated and concentrates solely on the daily routine, so really brings across the bleakness of these people's life. Again this officially-approved film only shows what is approved by the regime. The carefully selected images shown (for example the table overloaded with food in a city known to be tightly rationed) and the often unreal scripted dialogue only really serve to show how out-of-touch the regime is which choreographed it. This film does show well the grinding inefficiencies of North Korean life, but all-in-all compares poorly with `A State of Mind'.
For a good understanding of North Korea, I recommend viewing `National Geographic - Inside North Korea' and `A State of Mind', in that order.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New eyes but still blinded., 19 Feb 2009
By 
Gt Pattison "huscarl" (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Inside North Korea [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
For those with an interest in North Korea I would recomend this dvd. It is an eye opener to your typical westerner of the kind of control Kim Jong Il along with his late father have over the North Korean masses.
North Korea allows into their country an eye surgeon whom helps restore the sight of around 1000 North Koreans and the North Koreans give the credit to Kim and his dead father. There do question as to why North Korea has to import surgeons to do such things when its people are lead to believe they are a utopian society way ahead of the rest of the world which they believe lives in poverty and squalor. Or is it because they dare not ask such questions.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener, 6 Feb 2011
This review is from: Inside North Korea [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This documentary is AMAZING! I had no idea life in North Korea was like this... I knew there would be pictures of the dictator everywhere, but what i had imagined was nowhere near real life. It is good to keep in mind that this was filmed in the capital, where only the elite live, which means only the lucky and privileged live there. Can't even imagine what its like up north...
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Inside North Korea [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Inside North Korea [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by Artist Not Provided (DVD - 2007)
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