Ask Adam League

Imperfect Thought:
Kimjongilia and Dancing…

I find that the knowledge I gain from watching a documentary is often more interesting to me than an entertaining movie. This can be dangerous though as I find a level of entertainment is necessary in order to allow myself to sit through some knowledge. Knowledge isn’t always fast to be assimilated and often times it can take some time to get to the point (read some of my blogs). Sometimes this has to do with the journey being more important than the actual information and this I am alright with. You’ll find that with me the journey to a destination is part of the trip. It is why, as much as I LOVE the desert, I do not go there as often as the car rides are tedious on my mental state. On ocassion, I will forgo this mindset of being almost bored because the payoff is so large.

It is an interesting problem. The sacrifice of time which can lead to greater understanding versus the weight of the knowledge at the end being worth the time itself. Can the same knowledge be expressed in a shorter timeframe and still grant the observer the information they need to assess the aspects of life they are referencing? Complicated at best, but something I will often think about. Such is the case here with a recent documentary I watched.

I had actually watched 2 back to back. The first one we can get to on another date, “Countdown to Zero” which I shall ruin for you all and tell you it doesn’t offer any answers and in fact hits a few self inflicted roadbumps of its own. The one of interest however was “Kimjongilia”. The “judging a book by its cover” applies here mostly due to the reason I picked it up onto my Netflix queue. The image was very propagandist and I found it amusing. I wasn’t interested in reading its description for any reason other than to assert if it was in fact a documentary or not. Turns out it was so I placed it on my queue and waited for the time when I could watch it.

Turns out this was not long at all, as I had enough time today to do so and did. The movie started out rather entertaining in regards to the propaganda I mentioned. I have to inform you that I love propaganda. Fewer things look as deeply into a person or social group as looking into what someone wants you to see. The shadow cast by such things is enough to give you much more than they themselves desire. It is something I think is an interesting science of sorts in both sociology, psychiatry, and marketing. An interesting mix of awesome, regardless of the content. A shadow cast is sometimes more revealing than the objects light reflected from it.

Then the movie turns for a more realistic turn. I will say that overall this movie is really good but there were some things that irritated me. The dancing women made me nearly fall asleep. I strongly urge you to watch this movie for the reasons I will explain, but a preface of danger operating heavy machinery might occur to some watching the dancing sections. This movie is not filmed exceptionally well and most assuredly attempts to take an artistic approach at times. Angles too close in, moments of interpretive dance, awkward mixes of audio over different visuals. And yet even though the journey has some oddities, I can assurely you the travel is something I will recommend.

Many will find I offer up the word “liberal” very often. There are reasons. It’s a word which is superfluous as the word superfluous itself. It doesn’t identify anything and everything all inclusively. It is one which I use usually with disdain as it’s an arrogant mindset used without ever realizing that a focused view is often as important as an over arching one. This is mentioned because this video is able to bring those two mindsets together in a way I found unique among many. This story is definitely a human rights story. Make no mistake, this will tug on some persons hearts. If it doesn’t this does not mean you are a monster. I myself disengage my “human compass” because I understand the need to do so. It is similar to a doctor needing to amputate a leg of a child. An open heart might hinder the saving of an individual many a time. It is a struggle that I do not take lightly but understand must be taken. This video will hopefully open that a little more than normal.

This story is the story of North Korea as it stands over the last 20 or so years. I would like to think that a few of the readers of this blog will (assuming there is a few) take the time to watch this and hopefully learn a thing or two. I can honesty say there was a bit of information or two that I learned myself. Information does not have to be the direct knowledge expressed to you but often the way currently held knowledge is drawn across other knowledge to form a larger, more complete, picture. Both forms of information were expressed here and it was interesting.

To say this film was “entertaining” would be an unfortuneate choice of words. I sincerely hope that some of you will put “Kimjongilia” on your Netflix queue (or similar media) and watch it. I’d like to hear what you think of it. Is the film in and of itself a form of propaganda? I’d offer some words to this but am more interested in others watching it and coming to their own conclusion. The information here is powerful regardless of how you find it, true or otherwise. Until next random rant…

-The Adam

2 Responses to Kimjongilia and Dancing…

  1. Don The Producer 2010.12.27 6:10 am

    I must be honest and state that I haven’t watched the entire movie. It’s funny how Adam mentioned it a couple of weeks prior to me seeing it. i often watch things at meal time so I had to postpone this one.
    It’s a very good film to watch to simply understand the stories that these people have to share about their time in North Korea. There’s a lot to learn about this bastard country that does so much to hurt people and does so little to help serve the world. I’ve become very fascinated with North Korea and their brainwashing techniques, practices of power through fear and outright isolation from the rest of the world. People are literally brainwashed to think that Kim Jong Il is God walking the Earth. No one is to challenge him or his word or they AND their family will either be shot or put into camps which is pretty much dying slowly. Those who live in the States like we do or other democracies that share the right of freedom of speech are lucky enough to be present in such a country. After watching this documentary, you will hear from those felt it important enough to escape such tyranny at the sake of their own lives and their families.

    I will finish Kimjongilia and Dancing very soon.

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    1. The Adam 2010.12.27 11:06 am

      I think you meant “a couple of weeks after you saw it” as I only just put it on my queue the other night.
      Either way, you did mention “their family will either be shot or put into camps”. This isn’t the extent. If you saw this portion of the film they mention the 3 generation rule. This means that your grandmother, father, and yourself (along with with any females) are also taken into the camps.
      And here I thought that was the best part of the movie. I of course kid. This idea was interesting to me but no surprise. Asian cultures will ensure that they take your lineage as it is just as important as self when it comes to retaliation in the past.
      The documentary touches on more than simply this. It’s an interesting one to say the least.
      -The Adam

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