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Aim High in Creation!: A One-of-a-Kind Journey inside North Korea's Propaganda Machine

Aim High in Creation!: A One-of-a-Kind Journey inside North Korea's Propaganda Machine

by Anna Broinowski


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An Authentic Glimpse of a North Korea We’ve Never Seen Before, by a Prize-Winning Filmmaker

Anna Broinowski is the only Westerner ever granted full access to North Korea’s propaganda machine, its film industry. Aim High in Creation! is her funny, surreal, insightful account of her twenty-one-day apprenticeship there. At the same time it is a fresh-eyed look, beyond stereotypes, at life in that most secretive of societies.

When Anna learned that fracking had invaded downtown Sydney and a coal seam gas well was planned for Sydney Park, she had a brilliant idea: she would seek guidance for a kryptonite-powerful anti-fracking movie from the world’s greatest propaganda factory, apart from Hollywood. After two years of trying, she was allowed to make her case in Pyongyang and was granted full permission to film. She worked closely with the leading lights of North Korean cinema, even playing an American in a military thriller. “Filmmakers are family,” Kim Jong-il’s favorite director told her, and a love of nature and humanity unites peoples. Interviewing loyalists and defectors alike, Anna explored the society she encountered. She offers vivid, sometimes hilarious descriptions of bizarre disconnects and warm friendships in a world without advertisements or commercial culture. Her book, like the prize-winning documentary that resulted from her visit, is a thoughtful plea for better understanding.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628726763
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Anna Broinowski fell into filmmaking by accident—when she unearthed Japan's queer, yakuza, and otaku subcultures in the cult hit Hell Bento!! She's directed ever since. Anna’s ATOM Award-winning documentary Aim High in Creation! sold to Netflix USA and inspired her DIY North Korean propaganda film workshop, which she travels around the world. Other award-winning films include Forbidden Lie$, about hoax author Norma Khouri, Helen's War, about anti-nuclear campaigner Dr. Helen Caldicott, and Sexing the Label. They’ve won some shiny things, including three AFI Awards, a Silverdocs Award, the Rome Film Festival Cult Prize, a Walkley Award, the Al Jazeera Golden Award, a Russian Film Critics' prize, Best Director at Films Des Femmes, and Best Nonfiction Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. Before filmmaking, Anna was an actor and rock violinist. She dropped out of law school, toured her bilingual play The Gap to Japan, and has written for the Guardian, BBC magazine, Tokyo Journal, the Sydney Morning Herald, Black + White, and others. In 2016, Anna received a PhD from Macquarie University for her thesis on documentary and deception. Born in Tokyo and raised in the Philippines, Burma, Canberra, Japan, and Iran, Anna currently lives in Sydney with her daughter, a wise Glaswegian, and a three-legged cat called Tripod.

Table of Contents

Pyongyang 1

Part 1 Getting There

The Free World 13

The Amazing Kim Jong II 28

The Great North Korean Visa Chase 36

Aim High in Creation! 47

The Defectors' Verdict 59

North Korean Jesus 69

Chasing Godzilla 83

Part 2 The First Trip

Flying Air Koryo 95

Kubrick Who? 111

Blue Danube Blues 127

Grey Mullet Soup 139

Drinking the Kool-Aid 152

Part 3 The Shoot

Pitching General Electric 171

The Exploding Sound Recordist 179

A Perfume Named Kim 184

Do You Like Porn? 197

Your Dear Leader, Bob Brown 204

Monroe Had a Voluptuous Figure 213

Playing the Enemy 222

The Body and Emotion 233

The Problem of Gay People 244

Spinster Time 257

Our Divided Nation 267

Sydney 281

Acknowledgments 286

About the Author 288

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