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Welcome to North Korea - Linda Jablonska (2009)


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In its catalogue, a Czech travel agency offers a “journey into the unknown”, a tour of North Korea. This spring was the second time since 1990 that a group of Czech tourists set foot in the DPRK. The film follows twenty-seven Czechs who have decided to spend approximately 2,600 Euros on a sightseeing tour of a country which cultivates a cult of personality, maintains concentration camps for its citizens and doesn’t hide its development of nuclear weapons. Foreign visitors are only allowed a view of a carefully prepared illusion, thoroughly supervised by “guides”. What is more, the North Korean system is starkly reminiscent of our own past. Which emotions do our travellers experience: sympathy, nostalgia or, in contrast, happiness that “we already have this behind us”? How does a Czech person, after being accustomed to eighteen years of freedom and democracy, come to terms with the directives and restrictions of a totalitarian system?




§ 1

It’s forbidden to bring cell phones, GPS devices, telephoto lenses longer than 150mm and camcorders into North Korea.

§ 2

Taking photographs from trains or buses is strictly forbidden.

§ 3

It’s not possible to separate from the group.

§ 4

Hotel rooms can be bugged.

§ 5

Three guides will be responsible for our group.


Some of the assigned guides may understand Czech.



C'est vraiment a voir une fois, en plus ca dure pas plus de 70 minutes, t'as un bon apercu du truc, l'impression de visiter un Disneyland post-apocyptique ou les employes seraient toujours forces de sortir avec leur habits vieux de 40 ans, parader et sourir aux touristes sinon ils se font flinguer en backstage. L'hallu totale. Bon et puis c'est amusant a double titre car quelques-uns des touristes tcheques vu dans le docu ont connu la meme chose il y a 30 ans.



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