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Juche Strong (Short Film) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Genre:
 
Director:
 
Length: 18 minutes
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


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We liked?


A eye opening look into the psyche of the North Korean people.

Not so much?


Can be a little dry at times.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Juche Strong is an eye opening film that gives viewers a look at North Korea from the inside. Though it features often stunning footage of the country and its people, the true draw to this film is the insight into how and why the propaganda works. If you’ve ever wondered about North Korea – not just its leaders, but the people who live there, and why they seemingly continue to support their own oppression – then this is the film for you. More than that, it is a film that examines the psychology of how an oppressive regime can remain in power so long, and I found that fascinating.

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Posted June 14, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

“A new documentary exposes the sophisticated propaganda apparatus of North Korea.”

Juche Strong is a short film by director Rob Montz. Featuring footage shot in North Korea, the film takes an in depth look at the role of propaganda in the North Korean mindset, giving viewers a look inside the mindset of typical North Koreans. This is an important film in many ways, because it answers that often asked question of why North Koreans are so loyal to a way of life that seems so unfathomable to outside eyes. Juche Strong often dazzles with beautiful footage of traditional North Korean dancers decked out in vividly colored attire, crisply uniformed military marches, and children beaming with pride. It also shows a variety of different locales – all of which seem to feature statues or other ornamentation of the ruling family.

Citizens there are constantly bombarded not just with images of their beloved ruler, but with the idea of him as something of a benevolent father figure as well – with the outside world being portrayed as a sort of wicked creature who is trying to oppress them. These statues, songs, appearances, and more are explained in the film as part of larger mission to make the outside world the enemy, and the ruling family the only protector who can keep them safe. Though many have predicted the collapse of the Kim regime for decades, Juche Strong shows not only how it has remained in power for so long – but why it will likely continue to for years to come.

A variety of people are interviewed on the subject of North Korean propaganada, from a psychologist to a professor of North Korean studies, to a defector of the country, and all give some really good insights as to why the propaganda machine works. The defector, in particular, is able to really give viewers a look inside the mind of a typical North Korean, as she confides that, “North Koreans would continue to praise our leader, even as they starved to death.” While such self sacrifice is near unthinkable to the Western world, they don’t believe that they are oppressed. The propaganda works, because it is so perfectly tuned to the North Korean psyche. That is the aspect of this film that I found the most compelling: Juche Strong is not a film about North Korea; it is a film about the North Korean people and how they perceive themselves.

Juche Strong is an eye opening film that gives viewers a look at North Korea from the inside. Though it features often stunning footage of the country and its people, the true draw to this film is the insight into how and why the propaganda works. If you’ve ever wondered about North Korea – not just its leaders, but the people who live there, and why they seemingly continue to support their own oppression – then this is the film for you. More than that, it is a film that examines the psychology of how an oppressive regime can remain in power so long, and I found that fascinating.

*Juche Strong is available for purchase at juchestrong.com.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)