As a recent addition to UK Netflix, the documentary The Propaganda Game is a film which examines the ‘true’ stories of North Korea’s mysterious people. Filmmaker Álvaro Longoria presents a picture of an unclear guided tour, whereby he analyses the truth of the information he is presented with.
Serving as an intelligent follow up to the presentation of North Korea in the satirical The Interview, Longoria presents a fascinating insight into the ignorant bliss and propaganda of North Korea. Providing historical facts and intelligent talking head interviews, North Koreans express their disdain towards American’s mistreatment of their people in the past. This is of course shown to be heightened by propaganda, which is eloquently edited together by Longoria. He highlights the paranoia in North Korea which drives the citizens towards this heavy militant attitude.
Longoria presents Alejandro, the only Western man who works for the North Korean government. He studies his character, highlighting his consistent dedication to his adopted country, and so the documentary studies the grounding of his dedication to communist values. The documentary focuses on the aspirations and passions of people, which almost always link back to their ‘Great Leader’. Reasoning for this communist brainwashing is said to be for betterment of the citizens, as their media is shown to be a big part of this.
As a fan of documentary film, this documentary is enlightening, questioning everything the filmmakers were shown and this ‘version’ of North Korea. Although it often seems satirical, questioning the happiness of the people, and their true motives the documentary shows that ignorance is quite often bliss. The morality of their version of nationalist communism is questionable, as their ideals and principles continually lack clarity in their meaning. These masses lack individuality and seem to be a single minded brainwashed family, led by a single mortal man, when contrasted to the face of Western individualism. However, the lack of clarity in Western media is highlighted, as North Korea is portrayed as villainous and comical. Longoria suggests with this insight that the true unclear nature of the propaganda and access to the true reality of North Korea will possibly never change.