HOMENews&Data > Resources > Human Rights Films/Video
Director: Vitali Mansky
In the undercover documentary 'Under the Sun', the director Vitali Mansky follows an 8-year-old North Korean girl named Zin-mi as she prepares to join the Korean Children's Union, run by the Workers' Party, on the 'Day of the Shining Star' (Kim Jong-Il's birthday). While filming, Mr. Mansky realizes what North Korean regime offers to show him is fake. The North Korean government cast the film, wrote the script and provided guides to feed the actors their lines while managing every detail of the project. He then manages to "reveal the true essence of the situation" under the regime by secretly copying a memory card at the end of the day documenteing in North Korea.
Zin-mi comes from an average-but 'exemplary'-family in Pyonyang, and her family recieves instructions on how to be the ideal patriots. As her mother was 'reassigned' as a worker at a soy-milk plant and her father a senior engineer at a garment factory, Zin-mi strictly follows the plan. After the particularly grueling dance practice and the visit to the statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, Zin-mi is asked how she feels about joining the Children's Union during the last interview. She is clearly overwhelmed by her new responsibilities and eventually tears roll down her face.
'Under the Sun' successfully captures the great distance between the script and the reality. How the North Korean government is trying to portray its people's human rights is incompatible with the glimpse of the unstated life among citizens outside the window. The monotonous faces of North Korean citizens who are deprived of their human rights allow us to think carefully with the meaning of the 'Sun' in the country.