The Juche Idea (2008)

The Juche Idea
Jung Yoon Lee Daniela Kostova Sung Kim Oleg Mavromatti
IDMB rating
6.1 (72 votes)
Netflix rating
Release date
April 4, 2013 (Netflix)

Ready for a Marxist-Leninist-musical documentary? The Busby Berkeley of propaganda, Jim Finn, follows a South Korean video artist in North Korea who hopes to revitalize Juche cinema, somewhat inspired by a true story of a South Korean filmmaker kidnapped in the 70s to make the North Korean film industry better. In the mod 60s, film-fanatic Kim Jong Il adapted his father's Juche (pronounced choo-CHAY) philosophy to propaganda, film and art. Translated as self-reliance, Juche is a hybrid of Confucian and authoritarian Stalinist pseudo-socialism. Finn is the undisputed champion of propaganda as pure art, and this is his best yet. He uses the tools of traditional documentary, formal avant-garde, language lesson videos, and some sci-fi recreations to dig down to the souls of governments, leaders and media manipulation. No kitsch mockumentary, just careful analysis of the love of cinema that is as surreally funny as it is truth. Isn't art revolutionary? Is there humanism within all those faces?

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Yes! The Juche Idea (2008) is available on Netflix since Thursday 4 April 2013.

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