A classic case of a documentary filmmaker not trusting her material.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
Watching these painful reports by escapees of starvation, concentration camps, torture, and killings is more frustrating than enlightening.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A distractingly superficial depiction of North Korea that boils down the country's complex history to a handful of bullet points.
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 3/5
Built around interviews with more than a half-dozen North Koreans who fled their country but can't shake its hold on their imaginations.
...Heikin's riveting, horribly beautiful film has given many of these people the voice they so deserve.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A horrifying-fascinating peek into a "hermit kingdom" that's a bigger mystery than life on other planets.
An effective broadside against the regime of the world's most isolated nation.
| Original Score: B+