Under the Sun
Saturday, December 31, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Dir. Vitaly Mansky, 2015, 106 mins. DCP. In Korean with English subtitles. After years of negotiations, Russian director Vitaly Mansky was granted permission by the North Korean government to film a documentary about an eight-year-old patriot and her hard-working family in Pyongyang. Considering the restrictions and controls set by government-assigned handlers, not to mention outright scripted fabrications, Mansky became less documentarian than tool of propaganda. Or he would have been, if not for one crucial act of rebellion: He kept the camera rolling before and after each scene, offering an unprecedented, and surprisingly poignant glimpse into the machinations of image control. Mansky’s Independent Spirit-nominated marvel does more than just expose the charade of totalitarianism, it looks with empathy and subtle self-identification at those who have parts they are obliged to play.
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