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Kimjongilia (2009)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 313

My Rating

Movie Info

The film draws its name from the rarefied flower and reveals the extraordinary stories told by survivors of North Korea's vast prison camps, of devastating famine, and of every kind of repression. All of the interviews featured took place in South Korea, where the defectors now live. Their experiences are interspersed with archival footage of North Korean propaganda films and original scenes that illuminate the contours of daily life for a people whose every action is monitored and whose every

Unrated,

Documentary, Drama, Special Interest

Oct 12, 2010

Lorber Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (4)

Lately outsiders are more likely to laugh at North Korea's despotic head than to think about those who suffer under him, and Kimjongilia is a welcome and necessary antidote to that impulse.

September 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Built around interviews with more than a half-dozen North Koreans who fled their country but can't shake its hold on their imaginations.

March 19, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A horrifying-fascinating peek into a "hermit kingdom" that's a bigger mystery than life on other planets.

March 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Arguably the most dysfunctional culture of the past few centuries, North Korea is a cosmically mad movie waiting to happen. But for now, Heikin's is merely insubstantial.

March 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching these painful reports by escapees of starvation, concentration camps, torture, and killings is more frustrating than enlightening.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

...Heikin's riveting, horribly beautiful film has given many of these people the voice they so deserve.

March 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Heikin has gathered rare video shot in-country and riveting escapee stories to create a commendable upgrade to our limited fount of North Korean knowledge, which almost completely mitigates the doc's numerous problems.

March 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A distractingly superficial depiction of North Korea that boils down the country's complex history to a handful of bullet points.

March 24, 2010 Full Review Source: NYC Film Critic
NYC Film Critic

A classic case of a documentary filmmaker not trusting her material.

March 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

An effective broadside against the regime of the world's most isolated nation.

March 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

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