Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Review: Kimjongilia

North Korea doc exceedingly frustrating
By GERALD PEARY  |  August 26, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars


There is very little new in N.C. Heikin's documentary attack on North Korea's endless dictatorship that hasn't been seen or heard before, and watching these painful reports by escapees of starvation, concentration camps, torture, and killings is more frustrating than enlightening.

We know that nothing will be done about any of this — it's as if we were watching Jews in 1943 telling the world about Auschwitz and there were no plans to topple the Nazis. The film's title is the name of a special begonia presented to North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Il back on his long-ago 43rd birthday, in celebration of his commitment to "Love Peace Wisdom Justice."

If there's one moment of black-humor levity in this drone of horrors, it's the scenes from a kitsch North Korean documentary that rationalize forced-labor camps for the products they turn out, which include lovely items for export: doilies to Poland, paper flowers to France, bras to Russia.

Related: Review: Countdown to Zero, Review: The Road, Review: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, North Korea,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY