A brilliant and wickedly satirical mash-up of documentary, fictionalized restaging, and agitprop, Jim Finn’s The Juche Idea (2008) takes as its inspiration and its target the film theories and principles of self-reliance espoused by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. Absolutist in the extreme, the Dear Leader’s moviemaking edicts were designed to uphold the “monolithic ideology of the Party.” Finn subjects them to withering parody through genre-defying experimental conceits, incorporating scenes from North Korean melodramas and propaganda films dating back to the 1950s, allusions to the 1978 kidnapping of the late South Korean filmmaker Shin Sang-ok, and absurdist reenactments of English-language lessons from official textbooks. Robert Koehler in Variety writes, “The evidence that current film-making is brimming with original, standard-breaking creations has to include the work of Jim Finn…. To say that [his] films open up new possibilities for satire, ideas, and language isn’t an overstatement.” Finn also presents two recent short films, Dick Cheney in a Cold, Dark Cell (2009) and la loteria (2004–05).
In the Film exhibition Modern Mondays
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