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FDL Movie Night: Propaganda

Tonight’s film, Propaganda, is one of the most meta-mind fucks of a film ever made, right up there with F for Fake, even more so because it unfolds a global epic of propaganda. Originally purporting to be made in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Propaganda was “leaked” online after being “smuggled out of DPRK,” causing an uproar. Is this really how the North Koreans see the West? Can this film–which has moments of hilarity, especially with the use of vintage 1950s and 60s footage–even be real?

But along with goofy Newport cigarette commercials and images of the all the birds having been eaten because there is no food in America, Propaganda raises some very hard questions with quotes from the likes of Howard Zinn and Noam Chomosky, and an anti-corporate, anti-capitalist stance. But Propaganda is not propaganda from the DPRK about how the West is perverted by corporate propaganda designed to enslave them/us, but rather is a film written and directed by tonight’s guest, Slavko Martinov. He’s from New Zealand. And along with winning a lot of festival awards, he’s gotten into a lot of trouble over Propaganda: Accusations of North Korean collusion, an investigation by the South Korean government, an interview with the Counter-Terrorism Unit, and retaliation from the Catholic Church. And then there’s what happened to the actor who played the anonymous North Korean professor.

Heads up: The film is anti-Zionist, anti-corporate, and touches on truther conspiracies, and will probably offend someone. (Let’s keep it civil, please).

As a envisioning of how DPRK views the the West, this is an interesting take (and may be far more generous than how they really do see us, who knows). As a view of how Western society functions, it is eye-opening; even if you don’t agree 100% with every point raised (if you did then you might be falling for propaganda). Propaganda was nine years in the making–and the attention to detail shows–the images of numerous world leaders stroking their hair was mind blowing.

Propaganda is smart, thought-provoking, unsettling, the world’s first openly admitted “propumentary.” We’re stoked to have Slavko here with us from halfway around the world to discuss Propaganda, propaganda, the making of Propaganda and its aftermath.

You can watch the full movie here


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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.