Directed by Soon-mi Yoo (Rosa Filmes, 2014, 72 min)
Songs from the North is an essay film which looks differently at the enigma of North Korea, a country typically seen only through the distorted lens of jingoistic propaganda and derisive satire. Interweaving footage from the director’s three visits to North Korea, together with songs, spectacle, popular cinema and archival footage, Songs from the North tries to understand, on their own terms, the psychology and popular imagination of the North Korean people and the political ideology of absolute love which continues to drive the nation towards its uncertain future. To look closely and objectively at North Korea, a country that challenges our most fundamental assumptions about the human condition, is ultimately to question the meaning of freedom, love and patriotism.
Curated and introduced by Dima Mironenko, CEAS Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in East Asian Languages & Literatures
Dima Mironenko is a film and cultural historian of North Korea. His research focuses on the history of everyday. His dissertation, “A Jester with Chameleon Faces: Laughter and Comedy in North Korea, 1954-1969,” looks at how laughter functioned in North Korean culture, examining its effects on society and cultural policy during the postwar decade. Dima received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2014. Before coming to Yale, he spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. While at Yale, Dima will be working on his book manuscript and teaching an undergraduate seminar, “North Korea through Film.”