"Pyongyang is having fun"

Arte North Korea Evening

Tuesday, February 19, at 10:45 pm on Arte

A few days before the second Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit, which will take place in Hanoi on February 27 and 28, Arte is organizing a special North Korea night with two documentaries by Pierre-Olivier François.

The first, Korea, the hundred years war (1) goes back (in two parts) in a masterful way the thread of the history of a country cut in two. More surprising, the second, Pyongyang is having fun, shows the daily life of the 25 million North Koreans who live there, and even better and better, have fun, laugh, drink and eat.

A story of the two Koreas

Probably the most disturbing in this documentary filmed over eight years and nearly 40 trips in total for the three journalists, beyond the colorful images, is the chiseled text where every word counts, without value judgment or arrogance. The voice of the narrator, grave, posed with a touch of irony where it is needed, makes the humanity of this documentary palpable. No dramatic tension. Intellectual honesty prevails.

"North Koreans change quickly"

Pierre-Olivier François has a look. Patrick Maurus has a long knowledge of the Peninsula, North and South. And he speaks Korean. Many people talk about North Korea without having ever been there, and summing up its missiles, its army and its gulags, maintaining a diabolical image fueled by anguish.

In Pyongyang is having funwe are in the real world Men and women laugh out loud, go to the amusement park, skewers, get married, bend to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, who are omnipresent.

And for eight years the colors of the country have changed from gray to yellow or khaki to sky blue. Skyscrapers grow like mushrooms in Pyongyang. Cars are no longer rare. Fashion dresses up. "North Koreans change quickly", assures the voice of the storyteller who questions himself by way of conclusion: " Who knows ? The look we have on them may change someday. "

Dorian Malovic

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