by Pioneer Media Co-Founder Justin Martell
w/ Austin Jennings
Part 2 here.
Kim Jong Il Enjoys a Film at Runga 4-d Simulation Center
(Source: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. No. 699. March, 2014)
“CINEMA IS THE ART OF ACTION AND THE ART OF LIFE.” – KIM JONG IL
It is easy to criticize and mock North Korean films as ridiculous, but it is important to remember that they occupy a significant place in North Korean culture. It is often difficult to imagine – for lack of a better word – normal aspects of life in North Korea. However, Koreans enjoy these films and often discuss, quote and joke about them in the very same ways that we discuss our favorite Hollywood movies.
I once brought up Order No. 27 to my guides and after a few drinks we were acting out the famous scene where a North Korean commando drives a jeep with his foot while simultaneously machine-gunning South Korean and American troops. With another guide, we got a big kick out of planning an aptly title sequel, Order No. 28.
Another time, while looking at DVD’s, I stumbled across a later film by actress Yun Su Gyong who played the beautiful female lead 1982’s Wolmi Island. The two female guides accompanying me giggled about how the actress had become “soooo old!” Another guide got misty-eyed when a waitress treated us to a rendition of the haunting theme from Wolmi Island. And a scene where Wolmi Island‘s lead character rests his hand on a just-fired cannon without burning himself is a famous blooper. “This is very funny for Koreans because after a battle a cannon is hot!” my guide exclaimed.
Last, Korean girls will giggle and tell you they like Hong Kil Dong because the lead “is so handsome!”
Part 4 coming soon!