- 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 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)… Expand
- Director: Jim Finn
- Genre(s): Comedy, Documentary
- More Details and Credits »
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 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.
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.
- By user score