DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Under the Sun

Under the Sun

North Korea wants to be the best of all possible worlds. Everything and everyone is taken care off. Pyongyang is a clean, modern metropolis. 8-year-old Zin-mi, who is at the centre of this film, takes us through the stations of a happy childhood: becoming a member of the pioneer organisation, brisk flag ceremonies, enough food and always a song in praise of the Great Leader Kim Jong-un on her lips.

Russian-Ukrainian director Vitaly Mansky got the official permission to document the ordinary life of the city and country for one year. He knows that he is being instrumentalised and simply turns the tables by exposing how the presentations and arrangements are fabricated. His official minder proves to be a real “co-director”. So it’s the apparent details and minor matters Mansky asks us to discover. They offer insights into a well-trained and dulled society. Though we feel like we’re in “1984”, Mansky has come neither as a voyeur nor as a cynic. His camera is looking for the human element behind the mask of the official bulletins: a yawn or a moment of insecurity in this land of the ever-rising sun.

Cornelia Klauß
Original Title: V luchakh solnca
Country: Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, North Korea
Year: 2015
Language: Korean
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 110 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Vitaly Mansky
Producer: Natalya Manskaya, Simone Baumann, Filip Remunda
Cinematographer: Alexandra Ivanova, Mikhail Gorobchuk
Editor: Andrej Paperny
Music: Kārlis Auzāns
Sound: Evgeniya Lachina, Anrijs Krenbergs
Script: Vitaly Mansky

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.