Synopsis: “Propaganda” is one of the most controversial films ever made and it hits hard as it examines the influence of American culture on the rest of the world (from a North Korean perspective). The film has been described as “either a damning indictment of 21st Century culture or the best piece of propaganda in a generation.”
The film has already gone on to win awards and it brings us to a new generation of filmmakers. Director Slavko Martinov “parodies its language and stylings, before targeting the mountain of hypocrisies and contradictions that make up the modern Western narrative. In doing so, the film delivers a devastating blow to those who might be quick to laugh at ‘backward’ ideologies before considering how political and cultural trends have weakened Western claims to the moral high ground”. The film is divided into chapters with such names as “Rewriting History,” “Creating Ideas and Illusions” and “The Cult of Celebrity,” and it goes after advertising, war, TV, consumerism, religion, censorship, celebrity and historical revisionism which are all sources of, or the result of state propaganda – in a way that is thoroughly North Korean—- alarmingly authentic and disturbingly precise. The film is already responsible for an international incident involving the NIS (South Korea’s CIA), the Catholic Church, Homeland Security and the FBI. Martinov and his crew stand accused of being North Korean agents by the South Korean government. What we see here is ourselves as others see us. The film holds a mirror to the media of the West and parodies her politics and has history and shows us how they have been shaped by propaganda.
The film brutally insults and criticizes Israel, the USA, 9/11, democracy, religion, capitalism, advertising, TV, cinema, celebrities, computer gaming. The insults are heavy and come at us fast and furiously and with footage that backs what they say. I found it impossible to turn away from the screen.
The film truly startled me. I have always thought that our lives in the West are what we chose based mostly on class in a system that keeps us perpetually confused and complacent. Stop and listen to the kinds of conversations going on in America today and I do not necessarily mean your own. Our lives seem to be centered on gossip and the new technology (which allows us to gossip even more quickly). In which we live in a world where we have isolated ourselves with meaningless things and we find a kind of alienation. Even if we love the person next to us, we are alienated. As a nation we seem to lack memory and therefore out world is satisfactory to us. We realize that with all that we have, we are a useless population when it comes to cooperation, peace, or compassionate humanity.??
Even though this film is an unusual social experiment, it comes across as a leftist rant based on the frustration and struggles of the Western world. This is a film about us, our countries, and our fellow man’s struggle to live in it. It is an attempt to not only highlight, but force us to understand via shock, that we are not free simply because we are capable of saying so. This is a commentary on consumerism in the West and even though it is not a genuine North Korean propaganda film it discusses everything in such a is so damning that it could very well have been. Whether what it discusses is 100% factual is not important as it is building a discussion and it forces audiences to see themselves from the view of an unbiased third party.
It is the winners that write history but this time “Propaganda” shows an honest look at history and form the perspectives of outsiders looking in. “Propaganda” is a powerful, poignant critique of modern history, the history that we are not taught in school. We see the man behind the curtain that is running things in this modern, corporate totalitarian oligarchy, and it does it with powerful and unforgettable imagery. The film shows how Western people, and more specifically the US and the UK are distracted by entertainment and consumerism while our leaders continue to plunder the world, killing not only foreigners, but ourselves as well by our lax drug and food laws. The most startling fact is that 10 percent of Americans can’t find the United States on a map. ?”Propaganda” analyzes the changing American attitude of international stoicism into their rise to global imperial power and how that change happened when America really changed (during World War II) into what it is now. This is an important part of US History many do not focus on.?? The genius of the film is that its from the perspective of North Korea, one of the few countries that does not buy into the global corporate world order, so it can freely criticize how the global Corporation runs the world. We get an insight into the decline of Western civilization and we see the driving force behind the way the most powerful nations on earth are built and how they lead.