Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Schoolgirl's Diary: Propaganda 101

Melbourne International Film Festival 2009


MIFF's own description of The Schoolgirl's Diary (Han nyeohaksaengeui ilgi):
The first ever film from North Korea to be distributed internationally.
A gently sketched tale of a rebellious teenager, exasperated by her overworked parents and the boredom of life in the North Korean countryside, A Schoolgirl's Diary is significant in being the first time that life under Kim Jong-il's regime has been represented in commercial cinema.
Su-ryeon, fed up with the simple country life, longs for the cosmopolitan, apartment-living lifestyle of the city. Frustrated and dissatisfied, Su-ryeon lashes out at her parents and her older sister, but coming events will give her perspective on her situation.
Features the real-life North Korean soccer star Kim Jin-mi as Su-ryeon's tomboyish older sister.
There was some real emotion and humour but otherwise it was Propaganda 101. Reminiscent of documentaries from Mao's China circa 1968. The best moment came when teenagers replacing a house chimney thanked thermodynamics.

Essentially The Schoolgirl's Diary is a recruiting film for Science students.

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