Thursday, 5 September 2013

Singapore Filmmakers in North Korea

Update: Thurs 19 Sept 2013:  UN probe exposes shocking NKorea rights abuses


Actually, what is the purpose of going there? To help North Korea bring out their propaganda to show the rest of the world? Why are you helping North Korea film their propaganda?

No wonder people got angry with the filmmakers.

"Some people have hated it because it doesn't make a strong overt statement about how horrible the place is," said Lee, in an interview the couple had with Yahoo Singapore last week. "But we don't do that, and we have actually got people who are very angry that we don't do that."

If you can only film things that make the country look good, isn't that propaganda?  How can it be a documentary?  What's more, filming propaganda for another country. -.- How about doing it for your own? Jack Neo does that and earns money.

It premiered in Dubai at a documentary film festival last year

If you want to consider the fate of the guides and stuff, then don't make this documentary. What filmmaker are you?  Or rather, how much did North Korea pay you to have this "documentary" done?

Leong explains that the trend of foreign-made documentaries about North Korea has been that filmmakers who emerge with shocking, scandalising or horrific information or stories about the way the regime is conducted are lauded with international acclaim. These filmmakers, he feels, do not consider the fate of their guides or hosts, who inevitably end up in trouble.

Of course, they want you back.  Because you are so good at it, they want you to make more of their propaganda to show the world.

"Actually, Mr Kim (their guide) still emails me regularly. In fact, he sent me an email two days ago, asking us whether we wanted to go back and make another film!" said Lee.

Knowing that it's propaganda and you still film.

Leong noted also that having grown up in Pyongyang, with privileged lives, the young students whom they interviewed and followed had an easier time believing what they were told.

"If you handpick very privileged North Koreans to make propaganda about how wonderful life is in North Korea, they would have no conflict at all making that propaganda because to them, it's the truth," he said.

"And how human is that? It applies to everyone," he continued. "As Singaporeans, a lot of people would say (the system) works because my life is good… It's like you can say life is great here because it's great for you, but you don't see that it's not so great for other people and it's the same all over the world. It's exactly the same."

I would rather see the situation through the lenses of Ang Moh bloggers who went there and took pics of dirty white buildings surrounded by weeds, public buses with men in plain brown rumpled shirts, the eyes in men that look on with curiosity, resigned poverty and tiredness.

Think "Jeans". I think the creator/s of the jeans took down the pics from their website since they can't be found anymore.

Check this out:

Thinking of going to North Korea. Will I get detained? I love the wide open spaces. No overpopulation. No foreigners. Everything is wide and nice and empty with just a few buildings.

Would love to cycle down this track without brakes: (photo from the above link)

Heyy!! This is same as Singapore: Folks apply to the government (agency) to get a place to live. Until recently, only married couples could own a public housing flat. There were restrictions against singles from buying apartments that are meant for "families".  The result is that the majority of singles live with their families.

Folks must apply to the local government to get a place to live. Only married couples can do so however as single people are not allowed their own home, and have to remain with their families.