Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email This More

A State of Mind

DIRECTED BY - Daniel Gordon

With unprecedented access to the closed society of North Korea, British filmmaker Daniel Gordon and his crew set out to document the efforts of two schoolgirls--Pak Hyon Sun, 13, and her friend Kim Song Yon, 11, as they train in gymnastics for the massive governmental spectacle, The Mass Games, in the capital city of Pyongyang. Following the girls and their families for several months in 2003, A STATE OF MIND is an eye-opening, unbiased look at the country's unflagging devotion to its late leader, Kim Il Sung, and its current one, Sung's son Kim Jong Il. Taking us into the girls' classrooms, we also see how complete subservience to the state and its leader are fostered in children from a young age, dissuading them from questioning the regime--even when life's basic necessities are constantly in short supply. Though much of the scenery is grey and uninviting, director of photography Nick Bennett captures it all with a keen eye, and the unsettlingly militaristic Mass Games sequence is a sensational display of color and motion. This compelling and often surprising document provides a deeper understanding of a mysterious country while putting a human face on its people, who are so often vilified in the Western world.

GENRES - documentary