Under the Sun

A fascinating study in state propaganda and the darker truth that hovers just outside the frame.


Under the Sun

"My father says that Korea is the most beautiful country... Korea is the land of the rising sun," says eight-year-old schoolgirl Zin-mi. Despite continuous interference by government handlers, director Vitaly Mansky still managed to document life in Pyongyang, North Korea in this fascinating portrait of one girl and her parents in the year as she prepares to join the Korean Children's Union on the 'Day of the Shining Star' (Kim Jong-Il's birthday). As the family receives instruction on how to be the ideal patriots, Mansky's watchful camera captures details, from comrades struggling to stay awake during an official event, to Zin-mi's tears at a particularly grueling dance lesson.

Official Selections: SXSW Film Festival 2016, AFI Docs Film Festival 2016, San Francisco Film Festival 2016, Wisconsin Film Festival 2016, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2015, DokLeipzig Film Festival 2015, Docpoint Helsinki Film Festival 20151, Best Director - Black Nights Film Festival Tallin 2015, Best Documentary - Jihlava Film Festival 2015.
Not Rated
Vitaly Mansky
Eric Hynes, Village Voice

It's no secret that some documentary films are either partly or largely staged. Think of Errol Morris's re-enactments; think of the fake archival footage in Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell; think of documentary granddad Robert Flaherty casting and concocting scenarios for Nanook of the North. That ...

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