A State of Mind (2005)


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Movie Info

Two young gymnasts prepare for the Mass Games, one of North Korea's most important and elaborate events. Marked by its unprecedented access, this eye-opening film not only provides footage of the games themselves but it also shows the daily lives of people in one of the world's most closed societies.

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Critic Reviews for A State of Mind

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (12)

This fascinating documentary details day-to-day life in the hard-line Communist state of North Korea.

Sep 30, 2005

A riveting BBC documentary that illuminates the character of that nation.

Sep 23, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It's a quietly wrenching eye-opener.

Sep 2, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A fresh, straightforward portrayal of what the film calls 'the least visible ... least known ... least understood ... country in the world.'

Sep 1, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Gordon gives an intimate, balanced account of how political power, famine, power shortages and a hatred of America have shaped their young lives.

Sep 1, 2005 | Full Review…

The biggest value of the movie is the depiction of Pyongyang life, the elaborate Mass Games choreography, a wondrous road trip to the revered Mount Paektu, and the ideological mind-set of typical North Korean citizens.

Aug 26, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A State of Mind

[font=Century Gothic]"State of Mind" is a documentary filmed in 2003 by a BBC film crew that was allowed unprecedented access in North Korea to follow two teenage gymnasts, Park Hyon Sun and Kim Sung Yun, as they train for the Mass Games, "a social realist extravagansa" performed to celebrate various anniversaries in the nation. It turns out that people are pretty much the same wherever you go, just the circumstances and governments change. For example, North Korea's isolation allows it to control the information it hands out to the citizens. And the society is shaped around a very extreme cult of personality.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]But the documentarians try too hard to make a political statement, and that especially shows in the heavy-handed narration.(Narration should only be used to impart information, not to do a play-by-play.) They needed to let the viewers come to their own conclusions.(Whatever you think of the politics, you have to admit Communists know how to put on a show. Whereas, anarchists usually field the better softball teams...) [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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