Kimjongilia (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kimjongilia (2009)

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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 thought could bring official retribution. Along with the survivors' stories, Kimjongilia examines the mass illusion possible under totalitarianism and the human rights abuses required to maintain that illusion.

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Critic Reviews for Kimjongilia

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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…

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

August 26, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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

March 30, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5

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 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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