Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (29)
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| Fresh (27)
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It's a movie self-consciously framed around its own making: specifically the creation of a Korean propaganda spectacle. Mansky uses the limitations imposed on him by the government to create a kind of commentary on the genre.
Both provocative and underwhelming.
"Under The Sun" also reminds us that, their dissimilar society notwithstanding, the North Koreans are not some alien race but people like us, trying to get by the best they can.
There's journalistic filmmaking, and then there's what Vitaly Mansky does in Under The Sun: a feat of truth-telling so daring that watching it makes you feel like a co-conspirator.
Though there's something inherently satisfying about seeing propaganda de-pantsed, Mansky has something greater to offer than easy irony.
I think the lessons of "Under the Sun" go far beyond the tragic and idiotic delusions of North Korea's nightmare state, and that those lessons have direct application in Mansky's country, and in ours.
... a film about the human cost of authoritarianism, as well as a postmodern lesson in the value of questioning the reality of what we watch.
Under the Sun at once illuminates the fakery of North Korea's outward projection, while recognizing the very real mental effect on the people supposedly meant to benefit.
[Director Vitaliy Manskiy] agreed to every condition demanded by North Korean officials... And he still came up with a heartbreaking record of lives relentlessly stifled from birth.
The absurdity of what the Communist state expects to pass as convincing propaganda has its own brand of zany comedy -- until Mansky zooms in on the eyes of a sobbing preteen as her dance instructor berates her.
'Under the Sun' reminds us that documentaries are created objects and can never offer a simple view of "reality"...
What you see is frightening: an entire nation declaring fealty for their Beloved Leader Kim Jong-il, the man who declared America its sworn enemy.
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