How People Live: North Korea

2019, Society  -  53 min Leave a Comment
Rating from 1 user
Report Documentary


2 min read

This vlog type documentary explores the realities of living under the rule of one of the planet's most controversial dictators. The film delves into the living conditions of the people, the strict government policies and around-the-clock surveillance they must abide by, and the perils that are likely suffered by those select few who dare to break from the country’s constructive rules and customs.

The host enters the country with a healthy amount of fear. After all, not long before, another student had entered the country using the same visa and checking in to the same hotel. That student was sentenced to 15 years of harsh imprisonment for attempting to take home a measly piece of propaganda.

Though the stakes are obviously high, the host's tone strikes a tongue-in-cheek tone for much of the film. It's truly a stranger in a strange land dynamic, but the filmmaker is fully committed in his quest to portray the true stories behind the government's manufactured image.

Upon entering the country, he and his fellow passengers are asked to remove the labels from their soda bottles. After all, this particular product is made by their enemy - the United States of America. Carrying bags, phones and other devices are taken and scanned by security personnel. Every file and photo is methodically reviewed.

We get a sense of the areas that are closed off to prying eyes. The slums are devoid of electricity or indoor plumbing. The internet is not allowed for most citizens of the country. Even those who are granted online access are extremely restricted in which sites and programs they can explore. The host is followed wherever he goes and throughout the duration of his stay. Outside media is always under strict watch.

For those who have an interest in visiting North Korea or are merely curious about the way the people of the country live day by day, the film will prove most illuminating. It's an entertaining and thorough nuts-and-bolts overview of what outsiders can expect when they first set foot inside the enigmatic land.

Directed by: Anton Lyadov