Camp 14: Total Control Zone - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Camp 14: Total Control Zone Reviews

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½ August 22, 2015
Somehow, extraordinarily, and I don't believe deliberately, manages to drain the life out of what ought to be a fascinating subject. The banality of evil as banal documentary.
½ May 27, 2015
Poignant, gripping, and very captivating, this is an amazing story that shouldn't have to be! It is an eye-opener.
January 26, 2015
Was good until I found out that a big part of his story is made up.
January 17, 2015
The combination of the intense subject matter and excellent film style makes for something truly great, sad, and inspirational all at once. It's really more like a character study within the base concept of the documentary itself, and the way it was edited with pauses really helps to illustrate the frustration of the victim as well as the two former guards for their acts. Also with no narration and only rare moments of brief prompting from the interviewer, this really helped to keep the focus where it needs to be: on the subject matter and off the creator or interviewer of the film. Serious kudos to them for keeping themselves out of it and letting the people talk at their own pace about things that must be more painful to discuss then I could possibly imagine. The artwork/animations lent themselves quite well, and I usually hate any kind of animation in serious docs. Also I think Shin left one kind of slavery to enter another in his view. Of course the former was far worse but the things he says about life in South Korea really makes me wonder if he could ever learn to live a normal life. A normal healthy childhood is crucial for everyone to have the best chance for this and it's too disturbing to even think that so many in this world never experience that.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2015
Powerful and well told account of one man's life in and escape from a labour camp in North Korea.
December 31, 2014
Another top documentary. Its shocking to hear what goes on in these camps but at the same time not that shocking which is quite shocking if you get what I mean. The real surprise is at the end of the film when it reveals the power of being institutionalised. All very sad.
June 18, 2014
Must see documentary...
June 5, 2014
Beautifully paced and filmed documentary about a modern and on-going Auschwitz. Exquisitely respectful of every interviewee -- even the sadists. Which somehow makes what they did even more awful. Shin is a model of human courage -- with the emphasis on the "human."
May 19, 2014
Powerful beyond words. Read the book Escape from Camp 14 --and this documentary was so tastefully done with the animated sequences.
November 23, 2013
uda? rodinu s cie?om vyhnú? sa vlastnej smrti prípadne mu?eniu a napriek tomu by? mu?ený a prihliada? na popravu matky a brata a nevedie?, ?o je v takej chvíli normálne :(
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2013
North Korea is infamous for numerous reasons. One of those reasons is severe human rights violations. This is the astounding story of Shin Dong -hyuk, a prisoner in Camp 14 who successfully escaped. Throughout his ordeal, he has witnessed executions, been beaten, tortured, maimed, snitched and betrayed his friends and mother and brother. Those were the rules. The inmates were forced to do this in order to survive. This is an astounding film that has the power to make you think and it is an eye opening affair that should not be missed. Some people have criticized the editing and pacing, but this isn't a documentary like any other. When you hear Hyuk's story, you're captivated and in awe and how he could survive such brutality. The book Escape from Camp 14 is also wonderful and is a true testament to the survival of the human spirit. Although hard to watch, it is a necessary viewing in order to raise awareness to this important issue. I believe that this is one of the most important documents that have ever been made. This is a well thought out film and also you definitely shouldn't miss out on this one. Like I said, this is a standout film that is worth seeing.
July 19, 2013
I think this is the most incredible film I have ever seen. Your local cinemax is showing the latest dog crap with no plot and shoddy writing and terrible jokes, but this is the kind of brilliant filmmaker we should be encouraging. The use of body language and silence as a secondary character had me glued to the screen. You could feel the sadness in every bone. Absolutely riveting. This movie is about the death and torture of North Koreans, the horrifying and revolting things that humans are capable of, and how a soul can be numb and still have enough spirit to want to live......and I want to watch it again. That's how good this movie is. Watch it.
½ June 25, 2013
Pretty effective, though a bit slow.
April 17, 2013
I never thought I could underestimate the depravity and barbarism of Communism, but evidently I have. If there is any question that North Korea is the most evil country on earth, this documentary will answer it. Shin Dong Huyk was born in the prison camp after his mother was awarded to his father for working hard, and up until the point where he burned himself slithering over a dead body on an electrical fence he saw and suffered a great deal. First memory? A public execution. First job? Pushing carts in a coal mine at the age of six. Most tender moment ever experienced? From a cell mate who swabbed the infected burns on his back; burns he got while being strung up with wire and having a fire built under his back during seven months of torture at the age of fourteen. Absolutely horrific. There are interviews with a former guard and interrogator as well, and in some ways they are even more chilling. The guard tells how some of them would beat women to death after impregnating them via rape. Another calmly tells about one of his favorite games, telling a group of prisoners that unless one of them was beaten to death by the others with their bare hands, all of them would be killed. I have seen some pretty powerful documentaries involving political prisoners and their torturers before, but none like this. The animated sequences are also well done.
½ March 15, 2013
What a crazy story. What a crazy life. I felt like I could see the sadness and the emptiness in his heart through his eyes. I need to read the book soon.
February 17, 2013
A man that was born and raised in a workers camp in North Korea tells his story in this documentary. Very gripping and sad and the long pauses between the mans answers were heart breaking.
January 5, 2013
People need to see this film. There were a couple of moments when I thought I would not be able to watch anymore of it. I am glad I stuck with it. The animation was quietly profound. I found that the pauses beautifully and painfully demonstrated the silent agony of Shin's sorrow and isolation. I was left staring at the screen for several minutes after watching this film. Thank you Shin and Marc Wiese.
September 20, 2012
Remarkable story of a North Korean man born and raised in a prison camp, who escaped a few years ago and who globe-trots communicating his story. Very effective use of monochrome animation enhance his memories. The long pauses where Shin thinks about the questions being asked of his experiences are riveting to watch, even if it's sometimes slow-going.
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