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Sorry, you missed this one
The Red Chapel
Director Mads Brügger
Country Denmark, North Korea
Duration 100 min
Language English, Danish, Korean w/English subtitles
A subversive comedy tour through North Korea takes a turn for the absurd in this gonzo doco from Denmark.
Fighting propaganda with propaganda, filmmaker Mads Brügger takes two Danish–Korean comedians – the rotund Simon and the self-professed ‘spastic’ Jacob – on a tour of North Korea in an attempt to expose the tyrannical regime for what it is.
They are allowed into the country under the pretext of being a small Danish theatre group named The Red Chapel, but unbeknownst to the North Koreans, cultural exchange is not really what they have in mind.
Employing guerilla filmmaking tactics, the trio attempts to covertly critique the totalitarian policies of the state – a prank that starts to spin out of control as the tour’s state-appointed minders step in to rewrite the comedians’ show as a celebration of Kim Jong-il.
As Brügger falls victim to the very scheme he is trying to expose, he offers an unwittingly brilliant study of documentary ethics.
You want laugh-out-loud? This film is hilarious, acerbic and pointedly brave.
Winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
–The Epoch Times
“While Chapel is at times a riotous exercise in comedic performance art, the overall film is as serious as a missile attack…[It] has been compared to The Yes Men, but that does not do Brügger justice. Unlike the play-it-safe leftist pranksters, Brügger was punking a target that exercises absolute, unchecked power on its own turf.”
–Mads Brügger, director
“Comedy is the soft spot of all dictatorships.”