The Happiest People on Earth

The Happiest People on Earth

2017, Society  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 8.34/10 from 58 users.

The ironically titled documentary The Happiest People on Earth is an enlightening journey into one of the world's most contentious and controversial countries: North Korea. The cameras capture one of the few times each year that foreign guests are permitted inside the gates of this isolated land - the birthday celebrations for supreme Ieaders Kim Jong-il and Kim II-sung - and expose a culture marked by strict discipline and incessant hero worship.

In the eyes of each figure profiled in the film, Kim Jong-un and his immediate predecessors are deities. In their view, these fearless leaders fostered an environment of economic growth, unprecedented opportunity, and strength and prominence on the global stage. They speak of them in hushed, reverent tones.

This unfaltering allegiance to power is evident in the painstaking birthday festivity preparations, and in the working classes that slave every day in desperation to serve their Great Marshall. A young mother recalls the monumental moment when Kim Jong-un visited her textile mill, a rare occasion which is memorialized by a large engraved marking. Female military members run drills throughout the day in anticipation for a war with America they believe to be imminent. A male chorus rehearses a song of worship for their dictator. As one chorus member expresses, their leaders have made North Korea the greatest country on Earth, and anyone who believes otherwise should be considered an enemy.

These sentiments are cult-like in nature, and are ingrained from an early age. Children as young as six months of age are sent to live in schools for six full days every week. There, they are successfully indoctrinated into a mindset of blind obedience. Adults also live with the absence of dissenting opinions as government sanctioned media and internet faculties keep them sheltered from the outside world.

But the outside world is watching them, and continues to grow more fearful of North Korea's increasingly unpredictable and treacherous regime. The Happiest People on Earth places us inside the living rooms and work places of the country's everyday citizens, and their perspectives deepen our understanding of North Korea's limitations, ambitions and uniquely frightening way of life.

Directed by: Natalya Kadyrova

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4 years ago

Now I understand why Trump in in live with the Supreme Leader. He says so himself!

pedro borebone
4 years ago

sounds like christianity to me

5 years ago

Interesting, but similar storyline as every single NK doc made recently. We see nothing much of society, just about NK leaders. I feel like making these types of docs is like free propaganda for NK govt. We may see the nuances, but many N.koreans may not. A superficial look at a small part of the country that is obviously scripted and patrolled by party members. America and other countries have their own flaws, but it's a pretty stark difference between NK society and others, even socalist/communist nations. I'd love to hear what the real, unscripted N.koreans have to say about the pros and cons of living there, but the govt would never allow that sadly. I want to see the countryside, the people not in the capital, farm laborers, dentists, doctors, teachers, mailpeople, etc. If some are 'blessed' by good fortune then that means others are not, where are they? USA has it's flaws but they are visible for all to see, most of the time, in contrast to NK. Tired of hearing of NK govt and military, I want to hear from the people themselves. Propanganda is rampant in every country, but at least the people of most other nations have a easier time voicing their dissent. The children in the orphanange were quite sad, seeing even they have to be propaganda machines. Another interesting look inside, but nothing new or insightful.

5 years ago

"I like it, pretty much everything in the description could be said exact same about US of A (well maybe not Trump being a deity)"
Trump is Jesus

Charles Hillers
5 years ago the privileged few...they are happy...fat, dumb, and happy...

5 years ago

I believe that most of these people are genuinely happy. The orphan part is probably the saddest yet they are content and blessed in their own way. I can not say that for my own country.

6 years ago

Great documentary. I am not going to Judge the system of the country. I saw Smithy make make some powerful point and GunnarlnLa. Smithy noted that American people are forced to worship the flag, similar to how North Koreans are forced to worship Kim Jong Ill.

Both countries have their flaws and goodness. As a member of a capitalist country and am extremely happy I was not born at North Korea. I love the freedom I get to do simple stuff such as research information from all over the globe. However in America a lot of poverty exists, the system is not always fair, you can be great and all of a sudden land on your face, and the people are cold hearted. They don't give prayers. They don't tell time. At least in North Korea everyone is fed. Everyone has shelter. And there is a theory that people who live in those situations where they are deprived of alot of luxarys surprisingly are have genuine happiness. It seems that in the free world we end up running down the big things and cannot be satisfied.

6 years ago

i'd say it was one of the best north korean docs i've seen, and i've seen probably most. great insight into the country! you can't help but mourn for north koreans while watching this

6 years ago

excellent documentary...very, very interesting. – You see that the North Koreans very much respect themselves and care about all of the people...something that definitely cannot be said for the US...I hope we can agree on that? – What needs to happen is that the South Koreans tell the American criminals to simply "go home"...once that has been achieved, the Korean people would be able to come together and plan their future together, permanently freed from the Diabolical Western Demon...
The purpose of the US presence is to prevent re-unification...that's all...
(...not a "communist" myself, but it really isn't about "communism)

6 years ago

To the producers of this documentary, KUDOS and a heart felt gratitude.
To the citizens of the DPRK. One day you shall be enlightened.

6 years ago

The one thing I, see universally in the DPRK citizens is the resign of fruitlessness and hopelessness in their collective faces. Literally screaming come rescue me from this plight!!!!!!!!!!

6 years ago

..regardless what you think, I am willing to bet my life on the fact that on average this people are happier then americans.. not juet to spike, but because I know that people in Yugoslavia, where I grew up were happier then, before that "great capitalism" and "free democracy" torn it apart with even greater promises. People that never tasted socialism cant know what I am talking about, all they know is from their own propaganda machine. CNN truth is as fictional as every other BS that exists.
Soon after Yugoslavia died greed started to make friends into enemies.. otherwise its all the same. In both cases average worker HAS NOTHING, but before we were all at least friends. Now..also this is gone.
If the greedy western world wouldn't screw them up with all their sanctions, just to stick their bloodsucking straw into their veins between both systems there would be hardly any difference.
Try to speak out against Hilary loud enough and see how the democracy also tastes like 300m/s fast lead..straight to your back...f***ing pretenders...

Generic smith
6 years ago

Interesting how encompassing pervasive propaganda can influence, facebook, google, twitter, MSM outlets hmm?

6 years ago

to see the modern equipment these people use as a work force it is all they know and given that,sure they are very pleased with their life style.Sadly the media is not allowed the speak to the poor the starving.When all they know about the west is that we are ready to attack them any day .kim allows an american representive (cant remember his name the one that looks like a goof and represents nothing about america but these people see a gaint covered in tattos and piercings and would scare the hands off a clock 7ft tall ) as amercan .People in the north only know what jim wants them to know media is controlled by his little mind out of fear.And to a previous reader the usa does not need a reason to attack them in the north or would we wait til its too late when he has rocket abilities to reach the usa with necular war heads or dirty weapons what then right now we are using diplomatic means and they are not working the people are willing to make contributions to can to protect their country from attack by the usa. I personally think it is past time to act before it is too late their leader is leading out of fear and ignorance is it is just a matter of time and then it will be too late when americans at sea or in south korea or japan get hit by him and the we will have to deal with the chinease in the china sea building bases in the disputed land areas so we cant expect much from china

6 years ago

10/10! Was very intresting to see what generations of brainwashing and no access to the internet has done to these people. I don`t belive these people for a second. Everything was read from a script. Poor people. But don`t worry the US will prob find a reason to come and bomb you. Well see whats worst. Your leaders or the US occuping your land.

6 years ago

I like it, pretty much everything in the description could be said exact same about US of A (well maybe not Trump being a deity).
"fostered an environment of economic growth, unprecedented opportunity, and strength and prominence on the global stage" - the American Dream.
"the working classes that slave every day in desperation to serve their Great Marshall" - all the millions working for crappy wages to barely make ends meet.
"A male chorus rehearses a song of worship for their dictator." - kids swearing their allegiance to the flag every morning at school, "respect the pledge!" culture.
"in anticipation for a war with ... they believe to be imminent".
"As one chorus member expresses, their leaders have made ... the greatest country on Earth, and anyone who believes otherwise should be considered an enemy." - scarily true of US.
"successfully indoctrinated into a mindset of blind obedience" - err, like US flags, everywhere!!!
"the outside world is watching them, and continues to grow more fearful of ...'s increasingly unpredictable and treacherous regime." - yup!
Happiest People on Earth - Greatest Nation on Earth. Scarily similar countries and mindsets.