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Enter Pyongyang

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Source: Enter Pyongyang

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  • This is an excellent film, as is to be expected of the hugely talented Rob Whitworth.  But am I alone in feeling a bit uneasy about this relentless whitewashing/sanitisation of North Korea that we're seeing at the moment? Worth noting that this film is a collaboration with JT Singh, which is a "city-­branding pioneer" apparently.

  • No I completely agree. (Also, description of his partner as "city-­branding pioneer JT Singh" was nausea-inducing)

    It's a fabulous hyperlapse, as are all of his videos, but my first reaction in reading the description was how inaccurate it read in comparison to other videos and pieces coming out of the country that were not permitted to be published.  (e.g. http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/the-photos-north-korea-didnt-want-you-to-see/story-e6frfqai-1226919844504) 

    I wish he hadn't gotten involved in this one. 

  • Good film, but will Rob be be allowed to do a similar job on the North Korean death camps I wonder? That would be worth seeing. http://www.amnesty.org.uk/North-Korea-prison-camp-officials-raped-women-killed-secret#.U-iEhY90yUk

  • This is gorgeous! Although I also agree with Matt: between this, a few Roads and Kingdoms dispatches, and (although probably the least 'white washing' of the bunch) some of David Guttenfelder's Nat Geo work there seems to be a very sudden and strong push to 'rebrand' North Korea. Dispatches from Pyongyang these days feel a bit like dispatches from pre-2012 Myanmar in the way they fetishize novelty. Of course, that could also be due to the journalistic bias of busting myths. I suppose it's still better than some of the sensationalization that's gone on surrounding this country in the past. "The Vice Guide to North Korea," for instance...
  • The only reports that get at the truth about the horrible reality of life in North Korea are the ones that are unauthorized and smuggled out, like PBS' recent Frontline documentary. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secret-state-of-north-korea/  Seeing that program made me decide that it is immoral for anyone to support the government's inhumanity by traveling there, unless they are going for humanitarian reasons (i.e., to smuggle information in and out). There are too many people who want to go there just so they can add another check to the list of places they've traveled. The government is guilty of torturing and starving its own people so that its leader can build monuments to himself.

  • I agree. It's yet another example of the importance of making informed decisions when we travel.  Would quite like to know what the JT Singh people think about all this actually, will shoot them an invite to join us.