A State of Mind (2005)
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Critic Reviews for A State of Mind
This fascinating documentary details day-to-day life in the hard-line Communist state of North Korea.
A riveting BBC documentary that illuminates the character of that nation.
A fresh, straightforward portrayal of what the film calls 'the least visible ... least known ... least understood ... country in the world.'
Gordon gives an intimate, balanced account of how political power, famine, power shortages and a hatred of America have shaped their young lives.
The biggest value of the movie is the depiction of Pyongyang life, the elaborate Mass Games choreography, a wondrous road trip to the revered Mount Paektu, and the ideological mind-set of typical North Korean citizens.
Audience Reviews for A State of Mind
[font=Century Gothic]"State of Mind" is a documentary filmed in 2003 by a BBC film crew that was allowed unprecedented access in North Korea to follow two teenage gymnasts, Park Hyon Sun and Kim Sung Yun, as they train for the Mass Games, "a social realist extravagansa" performed to celebrate various anniversaries in the nation. It turns out that people are pretty much the same wherever you go, just the circumstances and governments change. For example, North Korea's isolation allows it to control the information it hands out to the citizens. And the society is shaped around a very extreme cult of personality.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]But the documentarians try too hard to make a political statement, and that especially shows in the heavy-handed narration.(Narration should only be used to impart information, not to do a play-by-play.) They needed to let the viewers come to their own conclusions.(Whatever you think of the politics, you have to admit Communists know how to put on a show. Whereas, anarchists usually field the better softball teams...) [/font]
"A state of mind" is a great documentary that gives a very rare peek into the daily lives of two families in central Pyongyang, during the days leading up to the 2003 Mass Games. The information here may be outdated (since it showed the quotidian during Kim Jong Il's regime instead of today''s Kim Jong Un), but still, it is very rare that we can get to see an insightful documentary under such an oppressive government again.
Fascinating. And frightening. Definitely worth it just to get a rare glimpse into the most elusive of countries. Also, Mass Games are super-impressive.
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