Kimjongilia ( 2009 IMDB ) is an excellent documentary about North Korea and people who have escape from one of the world’s few remaining Marxist states. The documentary interviews the escapees, some of whom have spent time in some of the forced labor camps that North Korea has. They talk about how they were treated in the totalitarian state. Since the end of Soviet support North Korea has suffered starvation, with hundred of thousands and possibly millions dying due to the horrendous inefficiency of Communism. The problems totalitarian states have with legitimacy and succession is also hinted at. The personality cult that Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong Il have erected is contrasted with the starvation and suppression of all expression of dissent that is the reality of life in North Korea. It’s good to be reminded that despite the fall of many Communist states Cuba and North Korea remain.

A number of interesting points are made. It’s estimated that around 300 000 people have escape North Korea in the last 20 years. That is interesting, when the wall was up far fewer people escape East Germany. Perhaps the North Koreans are intentionally letting people escape. The Chinese do not help escapees from North Korea. Perhaps international aid could help the people who do escape. The regime is also weak. One North Korean officer escaped with his family to South Korea in a sailing boat. The North Korean Navy boats had no fuel so they were actually under sail. With luck a regime in such dire straits may at some time falter. The fate of the regime when Kim Jong Il leaves office is brought up. Kim Jong Il is alleged to have pancreatic cancer and may not last long. Hopefully the people of North Korea will somehow wind up with a better government after Kim Jon Il leaves office.

A fine documentary that highlights the horrors of totalitarianism.



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