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Film Review on Inside North Korea Essay (Movie Review)


Inside North Korea is a film reflecting the lives of the people of North Korea. The people in this country live in a closed and secretive society. The film has been well developed exposing the North Korean society to the extent no other film has. It brings out King Jong II who is described as a “Dear” adored and worshiped.

To the King, the citizens of North Korea are so much dedicated that they cannot associate the difficulties they are faced with to him. According to the film, the hardships such as food shortage and illnesses faced in the society are brought about by the leadership of the King Jong II (Inside North Korea Movie Review, 2006).

It is gathered from the documentary Inside North Korea that the doctors of this region are not able to use medical equipments sent to them from oversees, neither is the country able to control food shortages. These problems are linked to the poor leadership.

The uniqueness of this film is the ability to bring out the North Koreans lives reality to light. This spring from two sisters Lisa Ling and Laura Ling. Lisa is a journalist who was lucky to have been released from prison during the time of President Bill Clintons’ visit of the US to the country.

After her release she became interested in the North Korean people’s lives and therefore tried to reach there. This she managed through following up an eye surgeon team from Nepal acting as if she was part of them. After observing what was going on in the Korean community, Lisa took a step of writing a report featuring these people. Her report in the film reflects the North Korean people’s hardships.

While in North Korea, Lisa observes that it is hard to distinguish between the true faithful from the fearful because the many years of indoctrination had distorted the line governing the two considerably. In connection to this statement, the movie highlights the character of the King as a cult which is very much profound to the extent that it pervades every aspect of the ordinary life of a North Korean (Wood par 1).

This affects the people such that many of them become traitors of each others’ vision for success in the film. For instance, during the numerous interviews of the locals, a guard in prison confesses that while undergoing their training, they were commanded to consider captives as sub human.

This guard is so much affected by the training that he reasons that North Korea would possibly crumble if the numerous labor camps were closed down. For this reason Lisa observes that because of this kind of happenings, North Korea would probably be a small anomaly.

She creates an impression to any audience to have a reflection of this country as being one of the most blinkered countries in the world (Inside North Korea).

It is strange how the people of North Korea are slavishly dedicated to the King regardless of the adversities they face day in day out. The people have endured food crisis and still suffer starvation while the king reins leading a sweet and quality life style.

This is contrary to the civilians who are poor with many people dying of hunger while he evicts the global aid workers as if the county is not in need of their support. According to the reports compiled in the film, there are so many children who are abnormally small due to food shortages and malnutrition.

This made the army lessen the height requirement for one to join it. Medical care is also alarming and awful. They are also insanity but the problem is not taken seriously because there are no medical systems to resolve such problems.

Another serious problem faced by the North Koreans is the harsh rules present in the country. As portrayed in the film, an individual and his or her entire family whether guilty or not can be landed in a concentration campsite for life or even death.

Attempting to escape the campsite on the other hand can also cause serious problems to an individual when caught or to the people left behind. The worship of the people has also been affected by the harsh regime. The hash rules has made it loose meaning such that it is prolonged and overenthusiastic to sometimes even involves the promise of the Americans’ killings (Inside North Korea).

The poverty level of North Korea portrayed in the film is very high and the King is less concerned about the welfare of the people. The film highlights the situation of the Pyong Yang Street which seems deserted and abandoned. It is in this street that strong supporters of the king are allowed to stay.

King Jong II and King Kim Sung II images are however literary pinned everywhere. Another town in the film described to be visible from the North Korean boundary portrays pretence and deception as being ties of propaganda present in North Korea. This town is seen as being small and tranquil consisting of small vacant buildings (Wood par. 6).

The film also highlights a Nepalese surgeon who had the heart of a kind man as portrayed in his deeds in the film. The gentleman goes around the world educating doctors of the third world countries on how to take good care of patients.

While in North Korea, he is recorded as having the intention of performing one thousand surgical procedures in the Hermit kingdom. He is however uneasy because of the presence of reporters and the North Korean guard who supervise every move the medical practitioners’ panel makes. The supervision as portrayed in the film starts right from the airstrip in Nepal (Wood par 4).

At one time, Lisa and her companions were threatened to be evicted from the country simply because they posed for a photograph in front of Kim Sung’s II statue. They learned from the guards that the North Koreans believe it is wrong to take a photograph with the “Dear Leader” The country also receives aid from EU but declines to acknowledge.

It is so unfortunate that besides all the awful living conditions caused to the people of North Korea by the King, they still adore him. They even go as far as relating to him as their supernatural almighty being. They are so much blinded that they do not seem to note the many problems and difficulties they are experiencing as a result of poor leadership.

Worse enough in the film is when the people who were blinded and restored to sight by the medical practitioners knelt before the king in his worship. Beside the fact that the king is the one chasing away the international well wishers with the intention of saving the local civilian from the country he is stilled cherished and adored.

Not enough, it is even recorded in the film that when a certain family was being interviewed before the eye restoration surgery procedures; among them a blind woman said that she wanted to regain her sight to be able to see and thank the celebrated leader (Wood, Par. 2).

In my views this is a big irony that it is difficult to establish in such loyalty if the worship of the king is genuine or is done out of fear. Even so, it does not seem to matter because it is obligatory. The documentary is worth watching for those who are passionate about human rights and everyone who wishes to fully understand what is happening in North Korea.

Works Cited

‘Inside North Korea Movie Review’ ABC New York, 10 Apr. 2006. Television.

Wood, Michael. Inside North Korea: National Geographic Documentary Review. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 28). Film Review on Inside North Korea. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-review-on-inside-north-korea/

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"Film Review on Inside North Korea." IvyPanda, 28 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/film-review-on-inside-north-korea/.

1. IvyPanda. "Film Review on Inside North Korea." May 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-review-on-inside-north-korea/.


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IvyPanda. "Film Review on Inside North Korea." May 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-review-on-inside-north-korea/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Film Review on Inside North Korea." May 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-review-on-inside-north-korea/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Film Review on Inside North Korea'. 28 May.

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