The five best North Korean films

Korean cinema inspires movie directors from across the world. They provide such good entertainment to all classes of the audience”. Moreover, they rule all genres including drama, horror, thriller, war, comedy and more. Furthermore, their movies are extremely well crafted and involve refreshing themes. More often than not, Korean cinema is understood to be of South Korea’s.

Let’s just take it a few hundred miles north. North Korea indeed has a cine industry too. People love to watch those movies and have some insights about life in North Korea. Here are the top 5 North Korean films you can’t afford to miss.

Marathon Runner (2002)

Though filmed in 2002, intentional or not, Marathon Runner looks like an 80s production. This movie is based on a real event. It’s a tale of athleticism and determination. It gives glimpses of the North Korean lifestyle. The film is based on Jong Song-0k’s leap to athletics championship in 99 Olympics.

Her path was met with obstacles of injuries and family issues. In the end, with support from Kim Jong-il and Kim II Sung, she won the gold.

Pulgasari (1985)

For starters, it’s a fantasy, monster film. There are dark overtones and plenty of action. Nevertheless, this movie is known for being infamous.

They kidnapped people to do this movie. It’s a North Korean attempt to make a Godzilla styled movie. The plot goes like this. An imprisoned blacksmith makes an effigy of a Godzilla type creature. It comes to life and wrecks havoc. Some parallels can be drawn towards the ill effects of capitalism. It’s a propaganda film nonetheless.

Hong Kil Dong (1986)

It is a movie that definitely had an influence of Shin Shang-ok. It’s more of entertainment and less of ideology. Things such as this don’t happen often in North Korea.

The plot focuses on Robin Hood-like character who robs from the rich and delivers to the poor. Not only cash and goods, but he can also deliver quite a beatdown too. There is an abundance of swordplay, flying high kicks and wire job, Low budget can be felt.

The Flower Girl (1972)

It’s the most famous North Korean film to date. Locally, it’s dubbed as an “immortal classic”. The” movie tries to be along the ideologies of the Kims.

In the offset of Japanese rule in the 1920’s, it focuses on a young woman being mistreated by her landlord. Not just her, the entire family suffers the tragic fate. The communist army comes as the saviour in the climax. The movie tells a lot about the average North Korean sensibilities.

Centre Forward (1978)

Even four decades back, the current day troubles of soccer were exactly the same. Evidently, that’s something this movie proves beyond doubt. It’s amongst the least politically jarred North Korean films.

It involves powerful owners, star players and loyal fans. It’s about a budding football star who wants to represent the local team. The movie expresses their love for football. It’s heavily influenced by 1966 Football World Cup in England. The North Koreans had the game of their lives in that tournament.