A sloppy attempt by the tyrannical North Korean government to portray their country as a worker’s paradise has massively backfired, pissing off Russia and their neighbours to the south.
Back in 2014 Pyongyang officials commissioned Vitaly Mansky, a Russian film-maker, to make a documentary glorifying their nation but all it did was reveal the brutal and inhumane conditions that the citizens of North Korea find themselves in.
The film, titled Under the Sun, was supposed to document the life of Ri Jin-mi, an eight-year-old girl who lives in Pyongyang and Mr Mansky was given complete access to her family, school and every aspect of her life for one whole year, The Telegraph reports.
As you’d expect though the Korean officials were extremely controlling during the production and they scripted everything, even choosing the locations and participants.
Unsurprisingly this wasn’t the best creative atmosphere and it very quickly became clear that the state rules with an iron fist with poor workers being encouraged to show more enthusiasm for their work and them being told what to say on camera.
Just 90 days into the 365 day shoot officials apparently cancelled the project and demanded that Mansky leave Pyongyang.
Unfortunately the North Koreans forgot to ask for the footage that Mansky had shot and even worse, for them, they’d forgotten that he’d recorded all of the insane demands they’d made to workers and the Ri family.
Mansky then did the film the way he wanted to, shifting the focus from glorifying Kim Jong-un’s regime to showing how all controlling the government is.
This didn’t please the North Korean officials who forgot that outside of their country they have no power, demanding that the Russian government ban screenings of the film, confiscate the footage and punish Mansky.
Despite some criticism, the screening went ahead at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in November 2015 and is currently being shown at the Sydney Film Festival.
Even better Under the Sun has even found a distributor in South Korea and was released back in April.
Park Geun-hye, the South Korean president, attended a screening of the film in May and said: “We must help the children of North Korea who have lost their hopes and dreams and are struggling to survive.”
Pyongyang’s didn’t take this lying down though releasing a statment apparently by Ms Jin’s mum.
We thought it was a movie that was being made for the purpose of cultural exchange between North Korea and Russia.
We didn’t imagine in our wildest dreams that they were going to make an anti-republic conspiracy film – using my daughter as the main character.
Not your smartest move North Korea always format your SD cards…