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state of mind, a

UK / North Korea, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Zero to Hero: Survival of the Fittest)

Director: Daniel Gordon

North Korea's Mass Games event is the largest choreographed spectacle in the world. Celebrated annually, it is a mind-blowing gymnastic tribute to the zealous ideology of the state and the greatness of the North's past and present leaders. An intricately choreographed display of tens of thousands of dancers, acrobats and karate-chopping soldiers - and one of the last surviving Communist showcase pageants - it's an extravaganza for which North Koreans have spent millions of hours rehearsing. Following two teenage gymnasts in the lead-up to the games, director Daniel Gordon ([The Game of Their Lives], MIFF 03) received unfettered access to their training and family lives, as well as unlimited footage of the event itself. He delivers a film that, in addition to being hugely entertaining, explores the very fabric of North Korean society. Interweaving cultural and historical background with more intimate observation, [A State of Mind] is a unique and non-judgmental portrait of life in the least-visited, least-known and least-understood country in the world.
D/P Daniel Gordon WS E Pictures L English, Korean w/English subtitles TD video/col/ 2004/93mins Daniel Gordon was born Sheffield, England, in 1972. His films are [The Game of their Lives] (2002), [A State of Mind] (MIFF 05).

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