- Release Date: May 28, 2010
- Summary: In the late 1960s Kim Jong Il guaranteed his succession as the Dear Leader of North Korea by adapting his father’s Juche (pronounced choo-CHAY) philosophy to propaganda, film, and art. Translated as self-reliance, Juche is a hybrid of Confucianism and authoritarian StalinistIn the late 1960s Kim Jong Il guaranteed his succession as the Dear Leader of North Korea by adapting his father’s Juche (pronounced choo-CHAY) philosophy to propaganda, film, and art. Translated as self-reliance, Juche is a hybrid of Confucianism and authoritarian Stalinist pseudo-socialism. The film is about a South Korean video artist who comes to a North Korean art residency to help bring Juche cinema into the 21st century. The story is told through the films she makes at the residency, as well as interviews with a Bulgarian filmmaker, and even a brief sci-fi movie. (Lorber Films)… Collapse
In his densely constructed and pretty damn brilliant film The Juche Idea, Finn takes aim at North Korean president Kim Jong-il's theories on cinema and how its ultimate purpose is to advance political ideology and party loyalty.
The film's satirical commentary about the intersection of politics and art is rarified, to be sure, but there is enough pointed humor in its execution to make The Juche Idea a provocative if intellectually challenging experience.
In the director’s hands, these societal passion plays and “documentaries” offer a terrifying, top-down perversion of art itself--another insidious extension of politics by other means.
The Juche Idea is meant to be a comedy, one that cuts two ways: mocking the strictures placed on moviemakers in both Communist and capitalist systems. Viewers who don’t share the radical-nostalgist sensibility of Mr. Finn, who teaches at Emerson College in Boston, may find the humor both too rarefied and too obvious.