Life in North Korea | DW Documentary

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Life in North Korea | DW Documentary 4.5
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Are people in North Korea allowed to laugh, dance and marry? This documentary provides unique insights on everyday life in the East Asian country, which most people associate with dictatorship, military parades and nuclear missile testing.

Perhaps no other country in the world is as mysterious as North Korea. In the West, it’s known as the last Stalinist dictatorship, the land of dictator Kim Jong Un, bombastic military parades and nuclear missile tests. And it is actually quite difficult to look beyond the political and examine the daily life of 25 million North Koreans. Are they allowed to laugh, dance and marry? What do they eat? Where do they go on holiday? These simple questions are difficult to answer given the isolation of the population from the rest of the world. The filmmakers behind Have Fun in Pyongyang visited people who have lived in the isolated mountainous nation for three generations. Over eight years, they visited North Korea forty times to attend festivals and harvest ceremonies, visit factories and listen to singing contests, in the process catching surprising, fascinating and bizarre glimpses of everyday life in North Korea. The documentary gives us an insight into North Korean life and helps us understand how the impoverished, isolated country has survived the end of the Cold War, the famine of the 1990s that cost hundreds of thousands their lives, and the never-ending diplomatic and military conflicts.

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💬 Comments on the video
Author

People commenting that this feels like propaganda but it doesn't strike that way at all. To me this was showcasing North Korea's attempts to modernize itself, in it's own bizarre way. Even though they live under a dictatorship, the people of North Korea are still humans and still experience the same emotions and desires of the rest of the human race. I really found this perspective to be fascinating. Also should keep in mind that the filmmakers had to keep a positive, upbeat tone with this to avoid getting into any trouble with officials and losing their privileges to film in these places. We all know that this is not the full reality.

Author — JourneyInJapan

Author

I hope I'm alive when the north korean regime falls. I want to see all these people experience the real world

Author — Aoirsae

Author

"There's hardly a North Korean who dosn't dream of living in Pyongang"

Should be

"There's hardly a North Korean who dosn't dream of living outside North Korea"

Author — Astagos

Author

Every single person he's spoken to is in the top elite, including the woman who lived outside the capital. They're all wearing the full crest Kim Il-Sung *AND* Kim Jong-Il pins, which are only worn by the elite. Most people have a very small round badge or small flag badges with just Kim Il-Sung if they're in a higher class (such as the one at 41:13).

Author — JamesTavRule

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In just 8 minutes I almost forgot that North Korea had public executions and forced labour camps where people had to suffer and sadly die...

Author — Dyandra Clevia

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crazy to think that they are trying to modernize and everything still looks like it's in the 60's

Author — feedmeee

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The thing that scares me is the parts we can’t see

Author — Bradley Bernett

Author

So everyone in North Korea 🇰🇵 is thin except for the leader!!!

Author — Lost guy In Russia

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This is another generation. Seems like early 80’s 90’s

Author — MyStiC Gaming

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"The country boasts a literacy rate of 100%" lol, okay.

Author — Mark Pemberton

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These people are stuck somewhere in the 1940s and don't even realise it, so sad to see

Author — SumChange

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The only overweight person is the dictator himself

Author — Hope 777

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I wonder if one person in pyonyang was like "wow foreigners can come to our country, hmm I wonder if I can come to their country too?"

Author — Kei From Insta

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Don't know whether anyone else noticed, but even the narrators voice, in some parts of the film, took on a certain 'I hope you all realise that what I'm telling you is a load of BS' tone to it.

Author — Jacqui Peers

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As a Chinese myself, Feels like I’m watching a movie about my country during the 60s.

Author — Till all are one

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Of course North Koreans laugh, dance, cry and live an everyday life for the most part as do lots of other cultures. However, it's hard to ignore human rights violations and the political restrictions that these communities live by. That is why this documentary seems pleasant because its nice to see citizens enjoying themselves and having fun but there's still this stagey aspect to it, clearly because citizens know they are being filmed for a documentary. Like many others that have commented on here, it feels like a weird "Leave it to Beaver" idealized universe with no socio-economic problems and nobody frowning or showing any negative emotion. The 90 percent narration makes it feel like an outdated travelogue shown in movie theaters back in the 1950s that promoted a city or travel destination without any criticism. There are hints that there is a cause of concern during this documentary but nothing that investigates it further. Not a terrible documentary, but also one that people shouldn't go by as fully representative of what North Korea is.

Author — Melissa Skillens

Author

My school everytime it has a visitors.

Author — Its Jam YOU BITCH

Author

lesson of the story "The poor are always starving and the rich are always happy"

Author — Taajdaar Hashmi

Author

2:38 Cmon, let him have fun, he probably has never seen that before...

Author — Mr Cubi

Author

The reason it took so long to film in the park was to get all these people orchestrated to act and prepare it all for the western viewers

Author — Alexander Blohme