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2 out of 4 stars

Title
The Great North Korean Picture Show
Directed by
James Leong, Lynn Lee
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Country
Singapore
Language
Korean
Year
2012

In order to enter North Korea to make a movie about the country's film industry, filmmakers James Leong and Lynn Lee had to agree to a formidable set of restrictions, including being accompanied everywhere they went, waiting months for access to the places they needed to shoot and submitting all footage to state censors for approval. The result is a predictably selective portrait of moviemaking in a country where films must reflect radiant sunshine on both the nation and its Dear Leader. For a while, The Great North Korean Picture Show is a fascinating account of shackled expression, but the decision not to include any footage of North Korean movies past or present, or to provide a larger sense of the role of state propaganda in the regime, results in an airless experience.

May 1, 8:45 p.m., Scotiabank; May 3, 7 p.m., Lightbox; May 4, 9:15 p.m., Scotiabank.

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