Synopsis by Mark Deming
While North Korea is slowly growing into a world power, thanks in part to the controversial actions of its leader, Kim Jong II, it is also a nation cut off from the world, keeping little contact with its neighbors China and Russia and separated from South Korea. North Korea is one of the few nations where hard-line adherence to Communist ideals is still the order of the day, and British filmmaker Daniel Gordon traveled to North Korea to document an unusual annual event, the Mass Games, a massive performance featuring literally thousands of dancers, gymnasts, athletes and musicians staged as a celebration of patriotism and the socialist ideal. Pak Hyon Sun and Kim Song Yon are two girls who were selected to perform in the Mass Games as part of a gymnastics program, and A State of Mind follows them as they prepare for the show, hoping against hope their efforts please Kim Jong II; along the way, the film offers a perspective on their daily lives and the lives of those around them in a land largely unknown and little understood in the West. Director Daniel Gordon has examined sports and politics in North Korea before with his acclaimed documentary The Game of Their Lives.
anniversary, celebration, Communism, Korea, pageant, revolution, statehood, victory