“Under the Sun” – Reality of North Korean Society

North Korea, a country which can bring the end of the world seems the most vulnerable and isolated society living in the world. But in the film, “Under the Sun,” you will feel that for them, North Korea is the greatest country they are living in and not trying to envy any country. The film is truly depicting the reality of North Koreans as not a dangerous people, but rather people who are lacking knowledge about their own reality.


The initial paradox of reality that the director, Vitaly Mansky is showing is the extreme faithfulness to their country. It is like fanaticism to certain religion or ideology without understanding the essence of it. Even though as a society they’re somehow developing, they don’t have the knowledge about their reality which means they don’t have power of controlling it. Even though as a communist country they think they’re living the most dignified life, they’re living in a constant fear.

The fear is a vital and important part of their life and philosophy, it constantly decreasing their rationality. They gradually are losing their consciousness, as in the case of little North Korean girl, the main character of the film. She as a little girl, doesn’t understand the reality she’s living in, gradually through education and parent influence she will eventually become paralyzed. Through constant endeavor and hardship she ceases to analyze and think critically and starts to live, so called a “zombie” life. If you question the “perfect” reality you are living in, then most probably your life will be under threat.

Although, for many North Koreans they are living in a perfect reality. A reality where they constantly worship their leaders without any question, extremely hate their enemies and always work hard. Even though North Korea is an extreme example of communism, different aspects we can reflect and compare to other political realities. Without good education, people are always vulnerable. Even hard work seems a good thing, unless it becomes a tool for controlling people’s mind.

For the director it was a challenging and dangerous process of filming this movie, but he did an important job for Koreans and the world. Not only showing the extreme reality, but also how people live there and their emotional challenge and hardship they are taking which no other country is experiencing.

-Gayane Aramyan


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