Kimjongilia

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Released 2009

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Kimjongilia

Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2009
Rating:
Not Available
Kimjongilia takes a rare look inside North Korea, and the severe restrictions imposed by the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong-Il. Although North Korea has managed to keep an almost total lock on its information and its citizens, director N.C. Heikin speaks to defectors and escapees from the country. They paint a disturbing picture of starvation, prison camps and slavery in the sex trade for those that disagree with Jong-Il. One survivor describes a concentration camp punishment meted out to three generations of a dissident's family. The film also details daily life under a dictatorship, where citizens are closely monitored by the government. The film does not simply catalogue the heartbreaking details of human rights violations, but provides hope in the personal stories of resilience and escape. Although the title refers to a flower, kimjongilia, named after the ruthless leader Kim Jong-Il, the country itself may not blossom for a long time.

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Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Time Out New York Nicolas Rapold

    The filmmaker strikes gold in her varied selection of defectors, especially the military man fed up with the myopic chain of command.

  • 60

    Boxoffice Magazine Mark Keizer

    At 74 tough and tragic minutes, though, Kimjongilia is not destined for monetary glory. The waiting arms of public television are the more likely destination.

  • 50

    The New York Times

    These harrowing tales are reason enough to see the movie. But Ms. Heikin wants to provide a total experience, so she adds in propaganda films, her own animated presentation of Kore...

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Categories

Documentary

Themes

Culture, History, Politics