A reception follows the screening on Monday, November 6 at Savor Cinema. FREE with ticket


Martin Hans Schmitt was an invited guest of the North Korean government to the Pyongyang Film Festival.  He took his photos and videos and turned them into an animated documentary describing his personal experiences. It is a travel film, during the course of which it gradually reveals how the dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un shapes the lives and thoughts of North Koreans right down to the smallest private niche, and also gradually influences the filmmaker too, increasingly creating the impression that we are observing a real-life satire.


This brilliant film is much more enlightening than any two-minute news story.  Many preconceived notions of the country that I held, were now revised.  Don’t worry, I’m not, nor is Martin, suggesting that this brutal dictatorship is anything other than just that, but I was amazed at the physical structure of Pyongyang.  The architecture, construction and technological achievements of this shuttered country.


Schmitt plays it pretty straight and lets the humor naturally evolve from the ludicrous situations and encounters.    


Director: Martin Hans Schmitt is a graduate of the University of Television and Film in Munich (HFF). Since 2003 he has produced research and teaching films for the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. The German filmmaker also produces stereoscopic 3D films and documentary films.


Director Statement: I was a guest at the Pyongyang International Film Festival. Or, in other words: “I survived North Korea”.  I left the country after a total of eight days in Pyongyang. I was relieved to have escaped the dominant surveillance paranoia and the personality cult of the Kim family, and eventually to step once again onto free European soil. All in all, my visit to the festival was a salutary lesson about dictatorships, state presentation, and constant indoctrination. The transformation of the documentary into an animated film has the effect of creating a cartoon-like distance to what is being shown. The plasticity of the 3D image emphasizes the puppet-like quality which North Korea generates in Western observers, thereby giving an impression of witnessing a theatrical performance.


Special Guest: Martin Hans Schmitt


Sponsored by: Diane Sobo and LoKation Real Estate



DIRECTOR(S): Martin Hans Schmitt
SCREENWRITER(S): Martin Hans Schmitt
PRODUCER(S): Martin Hans Schmitt
CAST: Martin Hans Schmitt and the audience of the Pyongyang Film Festival


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