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Event news: Under the Sun – Vitaly Mansky’s DPRK documentary screens at the KCC

One of the rare occasions when KCC has hosted an event about North Korea:

Screening event: Under the Sun

Director: Vitaly Mansky (2015)
Screening organised by Free NK
Friday 18 November 2016, 7pm – 9pm
Korean Culture Centre | 1-3 Strand | London WC2N 5BW
Free entry but registration required via Eventbrite

Under the Sun graphic


This movie screening event is a part of the 1st Global North Korea Freedom Week (14 – 19 November) organised by International North Korea Association for Human Rights and Democracy (INKAHRD) and Free NK Newspaper.

Movie info

Despite continuous interference by government handlers, director Vitaly Mansky still manages to document life in Pyongyang, capital city of North Korea, in this fascinating portrait of one girl and her parents in the year that Jinmi prepares to join the North Korean Children’s Union on the ‘Day Of The Shining Star’ (Kim Jong-Il’s birthday). As the family receives instruction on how to be the ideal patriots, Mansky’s watchful camera captures details his handlers might prefer left unseen, from comrades struggling to stay awake during an official event to Jinmi’s tears at a particularly grueling dance lesson.


Depicting Reality of North Korea

Russian director, Vitaly Mansky, was told to leave Pyongyang, even though he was given one year’s permission to film “The perfect life of a happy family.” However, the director kept some of the footage, including segments that he secretly filmed by leaving his camera running through several takes of scenes, such as when state officials were directing Jinmi and her family from A to Z.

“They censored everything we filmed so that we didn’t make any mistakes in portraying a story of a normal family living in the world’s best country.”


The film was meant to glorify the Kim Jong Un regime and show how people are happy under his leadership. However, it ended up demonstrating how the regime controls everything and that what they want to show the world is all being staged.

The North Korean government later demanded the screening of the film to be banned, to confiscate the footage, as well as to punish the director. Mr. Mansky is now banned from entering North Korea. In Moscow, where eight cinemas had scheduled to screen the movie in October 2016, five of them cancelled their screening, with one revealing that they were following the order of Russian authorities.



“UNDER THE SUN reveals the facades of North Korea-and what’s behind them.” – The A.V. Club

“Authorities are said to have tried to prevent screenings of UNDER THE SUN, a film that follows a North Korean girl as she prepares to celebrate the Day of the Shining Star, the birthday of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il. Directed by veteran filmmaker Vitaly Mansky, the documentary crew gained unprecedented access to the country by making the North Korean regime an official production partner and allowing officials complete control over the script.” – The Guardian


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