Let’s Put the Children in Charge
Spider-Man’s Unwell Cousin



Leni Riefenstahl was unavailable for comment.


Leni Riefenstahl was unavailable for comment.

Well, quite. Given the wider picture, as it were, it is an odd thing to watch. But presumably the concentration camps and gas chambers wouldn’t be quite so accessible, or easy on the eye.


I was going to comment on the last thread that there's nothing stopping the socialist idiots in our midst relocating to places more to their liking. Spooky.


Gulags aside (ahem) it is very pretty.


Pyongyang is the reserve of the DPRK's elite - ie party officials, military brass and government workers. It's the best they can muster, yet it still looks like a particularly rough area of Glasgow.


I'm most likely dreaming in technicolour, but, maybe, just maybe young Un is beginning a slow movement aimed at gradually loosening the noose on his people.


Probably not.

Jon Powers

Traffic doesn't seem to be an issue. It's almost like nobody can afford to drive a car! They must be so much smarter than us.


Still can't get past the word democratic.


Of course some North Koreans live well.

So did some Soviets. And some Maoists. And some Venezuelans.

All it costs you is your eternal soul.


Everything looks so well planned. And the plans seem to be well executed (except for the bits of pavement that seem to be cracked and need repair). And the people seem to know what they are supposed to be doing - the female traffic warden is a particularly good example.

A true socialist paradise. Oh, and notice that no one is overweight, so they are not a burden on the truly excellent comprehensive healthcare system. I am sure that someone, somewhere will be worrying about the dangerous sports that those children are pursuing, but we will deal with that later...

Is this supposed to be a film that celebrates the DPRK, or one that parodies it? I can read parts of it both ways.


If the video wasn't sped up so much of the time we'd realize just how empty most of those public spaces are.

The Lurker on the Threshold

It seems to have a very old-fashioned lost in the past feel to it (but not in a good way).

Smudger - it doesn't look very crowded so there must be plenty of empty housing available for anyone who wants to move there.


Is this supposed to be a film that celebrates the DPRK, or one that parodies it? I can read parts of it both ways.

The accompanying blurb is rather, um, upbeat.


The infamous traffic ladies and subway guards stand stiff and sentinel—but today they share a smile too. The more North Koreans one meets, the more one sees an organic society that wants to be a normal country. If you travel there not to judge but to appreciate, you will come away with a better understanding of how challenging national transformation can be.

Not sure I'd feel comfortable in a city where the traffic ladies, normally a relatively mild-mannered lot, are "infamous".

Ian Goodwin

The accompanying blurb is rather, um, upbeat.

Some of the commentators underneath seem rather enthused by it all as well.

Elrond Hubbard

I wonder what Whitworth and Singh could do with Detroit.


For some reason it reminded me of this.

I should point out I have had a glass of wine.

James In Footscray

The people 'working' on computers (0.23) just have monitors - no keyboards.


I wonder what Whitworth and Singh could do with Detroit.

Awhile back someone from New Jersey was telling of driving a friend around . . some major town name that I'm not remembering . . . The friend started counting burned out buildings, and stopped counting at 200.

Lancastrian Oik

I should point out I have had a glass of wine.

You handle it better than I do.

I just re-read this. "The Homeland" is a wonderfully disturbing dystopia- if Pyongyang were relocated to the Midwest after a vampire apocalypse and governed by management consultants and policy wonks whilst the enforcement was done by the kind of people who run airport security checks then Justin Cronin has it nailed.

And he's miles better than China Miéville.

[ Link fixed, DT ]


Judging from the evidence and that underlining not being a link, do you mean The Passage?


It all looks well- so dull.


I'm most likely dreaming in technicolour, but, . . . . .

Oh My . . .

Consider; Long shot , a main hall , and a hallway . . .

Oh, we've seen , a these various bits before . . . .

Renew! Renew! Renew!

Pete of Perth

Who wears a suit to a water park? North Koreans.


I don't mind the lack of graffiti .....


Off Topic,
This came up in a discussion on immigration, and thought Id share this 2010 item with you all:



The people ‘working’ on computers (0.23) just have monitors - no keyboards.

I think that’s a public library, the Grand People’s Study House, not an office. Incidentally, the comments over at Vimeo have livened up somewhat. In fact they’re now quite heated.

Lancastrian Oik

@ Hal-

Sorry, did I screw up another link?

I meant the sequel, "The Twelve".


Not so long ago, the BBC sent an undercover reporter to North Korea. He reached the rather baffling conclusion that it was a "far right" state.

I imagine that in coming to this conclusion, he performed the same complex mental gymnastics required of Socialist Worker types who flat-out deny that anything bad can come of socialism and attend workshops to learn how the USSR was actually a system of "state capitalism."


@Jon Powers "Traffic doesn't seem to be an issue"
They have Trolleybuses too. Forward to the 1930's!


Looking over the city scape on the title page, I'd have to say that being an architect in North Korea is not very challenging. Unimaginative uniformly big blocky buildings seems to be the order of the day. I suspect even the colors are due to lighting rather than by design. Reminds me of the public housing built in Detroit (and other places) in the 60s. Utilitarian but boring. Probably a reflection of the culture of North Korea ..... don't stand out or you may not be standing long.

Spiny Norman

Isn't that giant pyramid-shaped structure (the Ryugyong Hotel) still just an empty shell?


All that work to make it look as impressive as possible, and yet they couldn't show a single shop or restaurant.

Tim Newman

From BJG's link:

Pyongyang recently accused Switzerland of “serious human rights abuse” for refusing to sell North Korea a ski lift.


sackcloth and ashes

Hmm ... Skegness ...



Hmm ... Skegness ...

The last time I was there I stayed barely long enough to eat a sandwich. Though it was around New Year and well into minus figures.


All that work to make it look as impressive as possible, and yet they couldn't show a single shop or restaurant.

Yeah, as David noted . . .

It didn’t take long to discover that this was no ordinary department store. It was filled with thousands of people, going up and down the escalators, standing at the corners, going in and out of the front entrance in a constant stream both ways - yet nothing was being bought or sold. I checked this by standing at the entrance for half an hour. The people coming out were carrying no more than the people entering. Their shopping bags contained as much, or as little, when they left as when they entered. In some cases, I recognised people coming out as those who had gone in a few minutes before, only to see them re-entering the store almost immediately. And I watched a hardware counter for fifteen minutes. There were perhaps twenty people standing at it; there were two assistants behind the counter, but they paid no attention to the ‘customers’. The latter and the assistants stared past each other in a straight line, neither moving nor speaking.
Otto Maddox

One would expect the Ryugyong Hotel to regularly release swarms of flying monkeys.

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