Documentaries on North Korea

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Table of Contents

June 29th 2011
June 17th 2011
May 20th 2011
Apr. 8th 2011
Apr. 2nd 2011
Mar. 11th 2011

June 29th 2011 . go to CHG's Log

(1) are there any illegal tourists ? skip 'legal' or explain in a footnote
(2) When we first talked about this, I thought you wanted to find out how thiungs really are in NK. That means propaganda needs to be filtered out. When I read your intro, I get the impression you want to filter out factual information.
If you deal with NK, you can notr avoid having to deal with propaganda. And of course there are different perspectives of propaganda. However, there are other questions to be dealt with - intentional or unintentional propaganda (unintentional : if western documentary makers take NK propaganda information as factual); how successful are western documentary makers in looking behind Potemkin's villages; what percentage of a documentary is propaganda, what is not; how minute-local or representative are the windows of insight provided by the documentaries you examine ? Then there are different kinds of propaganda, from subtle / unnotiocable to blunt and easily recognizable.

June 17th 2011 . go to CHG's Log

(1) I don't like the title, because it does not specify what king of documentaries. I suggest "Western Documentaries"
(2) why propaganda in the title ?
(3) bias has no plural
(4) western documentaries could have bias at several levels : (a) they see NK propaganda and take it for real, i.e. unconsciously taking over NK propaganda
(b) they don't know enough about NK, have prejudice against communist system
(c) they sympathize with Communist ideology (depends on whoever made that documentary)

May 20th 2011 . go to CHG's Log

A documentary is, by definition, a film based on a factual, unbiased examination by a director who enjoys freedom of the press, is free from political pressure influencing the way he reports on the issue.
Therefore, by definition, propaganda films are NOT documentaries.

EXCLUDE any movies made in North Korea. You may watch them, use information you find there in order to get a different perspective on what foreign documentaries show.

Given the South Korean history regarding the coverage of North Korean issues, I would recommend to treat South Korean documentaries the same way - use them only to get perspectives which help you better evaluate foreign documentaries.
For older films made in South Korea on North Korea topics (made under the dictators), they are most likely propagandist and therefore lack credibility in their NK coverage.
In the case of films made since the ROK is a functioning democracy, I still have qualms because you still have censorship regulations which may affect such coverage, and you may have to consider that individual documentary makers may have an agenda of their own or of a certain political group they adhere to, or the organization financing the documentary may have one.

I recommend the object of your examination ONLY to be documentaries which were made abroad. This way the bias of the documentary makers is easier to analyse.

Your Table of Contents is too wide; if you cover all you list, you will end up writing a book.
Now, if you want to include other multimedia sources - use such sources which, like documentaries, are based on a visit of the country, on letting sources / images / persons in interviews speak for themselves, and are short on commentary/judgment, not just any kind of website.
In a paper such as the one you try to write, FOCUS is critical. If you were to include the website of an American Communism-hater who never visited the country, it would change the structure of your source pool.

I suggest you reorganize your table of contents.
For non-documentaries you need to come up with a definition, which clarifies what to include and what to sort out.
In case of foreign documentaries, you may differentiate
Inhowfar do documentaries made by foreigners on North Korea show what North Korea wants them to show ?
Inhowfar do the documentary makers see beind those "Potemkin's villages" ?
Can you identify cases where the documentary makers misunderstand, misinterpret ?
What do these documentaries fail to show ?
Can you identify the bias of individual documentary makers ?
and more questions of this kind

Apr. 2nd 2011 . go to CHG's Log

(1) change Internet Based into Internet Sources, Documentary Based into Documentaries
(2) I don't understand KFA, what country is this supposed to be ?
(3) List documentaries in chronological order

Apr. 2nd 2011

Check through IMDb, Most popular documentaries with country of origin South Korea,,asc; you may find more

Mar. 11th 2011
Lists three German language dicumentaries; page in German
mentions Danish NK documentary; page in Danish
on a secretly taped documentary of NK; page in Danish
provider of dvds containing documentaries made in NK; page in German
A documentary on life in NK, from Svensk TV, online, in Swedish