Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Friends of Kim
Here's another one of the dashing aristocrat wearing the Medal of Extraordinary Equality or something...
The KFA's role is to take Westerners, whether they be True Believers in the Cult of Kim or simply the curious to Pyongyang to engage in pro-DPRK propaganda. On one of those trips an excellent documentary was made by two film-makers a couple of years ago called Friends of Kim which is well worth watching, if you like that sort of thing.
The documentary is in eight parts and begins with a number of Useless Idiots waffling on excitedly about how they are going to discover the answer to their middle-class boredom and the horrid capitalist system that so many people are just asking questions about these days. Such questions meet radical answers here as the chubby Alejandro marches the simpering Europeans past slender if not emaciated "cheering crowds" on a "march" through Kaesong, on the Korean border.
Part 5 is especially worth watching for when "simple soldier" Alejandro starts blaring across the border, "Yankee Go Home!" and attempts to get a rousing chorus from his suitably embarrassed comrades.
There is some extremely unpleasant lies by one of the KFA's senior members who insists there is no food crisis in the DPRK. His claim is contradicted by a member of the World Food Programme who says that the DPRK have to come begging to them every year for food aid and still only get a fraction of what they need.
This seems to be somewhat confirmed by what I myself witnessed when I went to the DPRK two years ago with Koryo Tours.
Given that the DPRK is reputed to put its healthiest troops on the border, one would have thought they could find some slightly less hungry-looking soldiers as these.
But Alejandro's obnoxiousness doesn't end with his badgering tone, "We are fed up with the lies, huh? Huh?" He resorts to breaking in to the room of American journalist, Andrew Morse, stealing his videotapes and breaking his computer. Later he unabashedly explains that he did it for security reasons and plays the victim card by saying his relationship with the North Korean government was threatened by Morse's journalism.
Edit: One of the participants on the tour runs an excellent blog called nkeconwatch.
Edit: I'd forgotten about this classic music video.