How People Live: North Korea

How People Live: North Korea

2019, Society  -   9 Comments
Ratings: 8.97/10 from 31 users.

This vlog type documentary explores the realities of living under the rule of one of the planet's most controversial dictators. The film delves into the living conditions of the people, the strict government policies and around-the-clock surveillance they must abide by, and the perils that are likely suffered by those select few who dare to break from the country’s constructive rules and customs.

The host enters the country with a healthy amount of fear. After all, not long before, another student had entered the country using the same visa and checking in to the same hotel. That student was sentenced to 15 years of harsh imprisonment for attempting to take home a measly piece of propaganda.

Though the stakes are obviously high, the host's tone strikes a tongue-in-cheek tone for much of the film. It's truly a stranger in a strange land dynamic, but the filmmaker is fully committed in his quest to portray the true stories behind the government's manufactured image.

Upon entering the country, he and his fellow passengers are asked to remove the labels from their soda bottles. After all, this particular product is made by their enemy - the United States of America. Carrying bags, phones and other devices are taken and scanned by security personnel. Every file and photo is methodically reviewed.

We get a sense of the areas that are closed off to prying eyes. The slums are devoid of electricity or indoor plumbing. The internet is not allowed for most citizens of the country. Even those who are granted online access are extremely restricted in which sites and programs they can explore. The host is followed wherever he goes and throughout the duration of his stay. Outside media is always under strict watch.

For those who have an interest in visiting North Korea or are merely curious about the way the people of the country live day by day, the film will prove most illuminating. It's an entertaining and thorough nuts-and-bolts overview of what outsiders can expect when they first set foot inside the enigmatic land.

Directed by: Anton Lyadov

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9 Comments / User Reviews

  1. User-1

    Good video, but I would have loved to see something on the Ryugyong Hotel. I did spot it on a train shot.

    Sorry, ain't following him.

  2. Jim

    I thought this was very informative and fairly well done. IF you know much about North Korea, he put himself in great danger making this video.

  3. Bryan

    Very interestingly put together video, but so sad to see that people are still treated cruelly both
    physically, mentally and spiritually a wake up call to all, dont take any freedom for granted !

  4. Jim

    The coverage is excellent and fearless but the production is adolescent and annoying by trying to simulate a video game or action movie.

    1. Jackal

      I totally agree with you, Jim. The whole thing was pathetic and juvenile! I could only watch the first 10 minutes :((

    2. James

      Eh, I'd disagree. I really enjoyed the whole thing.

    3. john

      childish and bias. I know North Korea is no paradise but what about the UK? Utterly bankrupt. Spiritually dead. About to suffer mass unemployment worse than the depression caused, not by covid but by the government. The UK is spending huge sums on weapons it says it will never use. I mean what kind of insanity is that? Don't forget that everyone in North Korea is housed, employed and fed. Better by a long way than the UK.....need i go on? Or is being protected from verbal abuse if your transgender a burning issue?

    4. ryan

      how do you know the whole thing is pathetic if you only watched the first 10 minutes?

    5. Carmen

      Ehm John, not everyone is fed in the DPRK. Again, there are food rations and the UN has to step in with considerable food aid.
      Here are two news articles about food aid. The BBC article states: The United Nations recently estimated that more than 10 million people - around 40% of the population - are facing severe food shortages. North Koreans have been surviving on just 300g per person a day, according to an assessment by the UN.
      The Newsweek article states: There is never enough food in North Korea. The UN estimates that, even in pre-pandemic 2019, 43 percent of the North Korean population was "food insecure." And: "In the past, North Korea even exported food aid in the midst of famine, and it's likely it used the foreign currency derived from the sales for other purposes, such as nuclear weapons development."
      Oh, and did you know that North Korea has ordered the public NOT TO LAUGH for 11 days because of a Kim that died so many years ago? Seriously, police will be arresting laughing people.
      So, even though things may be a little rough right now in the UK, it's nothing compared to the DPRK.