Docs

National Geographic, 72 Films unveil “Inside North Korea’s Dynasty”

National Geographic will present a comprehensive four-part docuseries set to reveal the inner workings of the secretive Kim dynasty in North Korea. A year in the making, Inside North Korea’s Dynasty will examine ...
October 23, 2018

National Geographic will present a comprehensive four-part docuseries set to reveal the inner workings of the secretive Kim dynasty in North Korea.

A year in the making, Inside North Korea’s Dynasty will examine the internal dynamics and history of the world’s only communist dynasty through a combination of expert insight, rare archival footage, first-hand testimonies and secret audio tapes from inside the regime.

The four-part series (pictured) will also document the birth of the Kim dynasty, which has ruled the nation for more than seven decades, by examining the rise and rule of the founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung; his son, Kim Jong Il; and his grandson and the current leader, Kim Jong Un.

Featured testimonies and rare interviews presented in the series include retired U.S. Col. Victor Vierra, in his first television interview; Shin Jyeung-Kyun, the son of kidnapped South Korean filmmakers; Choi Jae Wook, press secretary for the South Korean president; Kang In-Deok, director of the Korean CIA, North Korea bureau; Ko Young-Hwan, interpreter for Kim Il Sung; and former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who discusses his relationship with Kim Jong Un; among others.

Producers searched through nearly 400 hours of film footage, which includes rarely seen images from Swedish film One for All, All for One; Czech film Fighting Korea, about the Korean War; and French film The Hermit Kingdom, about North Korean life in the 1970s; as well as an exclusive television interview with Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of Kim Jong Il, never seen before outside of Asia.

London’s 72 Films produces the series, with company founders David Glover and Mark Raphael serving as executive producers. Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin, the directors of acclaimed Nat Geo documentary LA 92, were editorial consultants on the series.

Inside North Korea’s Dynasty premieres with back-to-back episodes on Nov. 11 and Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic in the U.S. and globally in 171 countries and 43 languages.

“National Geographic was clear from the start — they wanted a definitive documentary on the Kim dynasty, unlike anything produced before,” said 72 Films in a statement. “We immersed ourselves in this project for a year, looking through archives that have not been viewed in decades and interviewing almost 50 people with perspectives that could shed light on this dynasty.

“Going in via the family was a fresh way to unlock North Korea,” the prodco added. “All three leaders are fascinating in their own right. They have all chosen to use their extraordinary power in different ways. The result is a film that is as unique in scope and depth as it is in insight and relevance.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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