Documental 07: The Unknown Side of North Korea

Posted on November 16, 2012


The Unknown Side of North Korea (2012)

Yeah, another North Korea thing. Contrary to all of the other documentaries out there however, this is put together by 2 guys traveling the world, and quickly sets itself out against others. This isn’t a ‘Holy balls we’re in North Korea and everyone is insane this place is so stupid and dumn duh commies’. The two North American chaps have a totally positive outlook, and show that by approaching things respectfully and with an open mind, things are a bit easier to understand. Of course, this isn’t to be apologetic for the Kim Dynasty, as the horrors of the 90s will attest. But, and the book ‘Nothing to Envy’ shows this beautifully as well, it isn’t quite as simple as ‘if they were free everything would be okay’. A lot of the North Koreans the two guys meet throughout seem genuinely quite happy, even managing to get a laugh and a smile out of an old soldier. And a photograph! They also get to go on an end of week booze cruise type thing with their guides, complete with music. I have no doubt in my mind that the week wasn’t as happy joy joy as the documentary suggests, and that however lovely a tourists day is the day to day of locals must be very difficult, but I can say the same about Bosnia and Serbia from experience, and that isn’t even dipping toes into places like Laos, India or Brazil, humongous backpacker hotspots who treat their poor people like subhuman scum. Give this documentary a watch to see something about North Korea that isn’t all death death death. I’m just trying to convince myself its okay to go on a booze cruise in North Korea, that is all.

Posted in: Documental, Travel