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The Juche Idea
dir. Jim Finn / USA 2008 / 62’
subtitles: Polish and English
Movies on Art International Competition


Daniela Kostova, Jim Finn, Oleg Mavromatti, Lee,Jung Yoon Kim Sung

Film description

A Marxist-Leninist music documentary? Jim Finn, the self-declared propaganda art guerrilla deals this time with the North-Korean concept of juche, in a work which is both ironic and impressive. Juche, the term invented in 1955 by the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, more or less means autarchy. At the beginning, its meaning was limited to political issues (the only allies of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea being China and Albania), but in the late 1960s, Kim Il-Sung's successor enriched it with a cultural aspect. Kim Jong-Il, a fanatical cinema-lover wrote a treatise making juche the compulsory foundation of North-Korean cinematography.

The Juche Idea is anarchistic both in its matter and form, it boldly deconstructs borders between documentary and fiction. Jim Finn blends archival footage of Korean production films with the sophisticated humour in lessons of the capitalist English (based on lessons broadcast by the Voice of America) and of the socialist English (based on a Korean and English phrasebook); he also introduces a sensational thread related to the abducted South Korean video artist and an experimental science fiction film made according to the principles of the juche. A truly subversive, revolutionary freestyle.

Ewa Szabłowska

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Night and the City by Jules Dassin was specifically selected for the ENH festival by Almodóvar. This film inspired the Spanish master during his work on Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos).

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