The Propaganda Game

Álvaro Longoria

North Korea, the hermit kingdom, is almost entirely cut off from the world, making it difficult to paint a reliable portrait of its society. The regime manipulates the people using propaganda, but it is interesting to see just how biased Western media coverage on this highly isolated country actually is. Filmmaker Álvaro Longoria obtained official permission to film in the country and discovers that propaganda cuts both ways.

As the last remaining fully Communist country, North Korea is almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world since the Korean War in the fifties. It has the biggest militarized border in the world and virtually no independent information is allowed to leave the country. Every now and then, Western media publish horror stories about concentration camps, poverty and famine, told by the few people who made their way out of the country. North Korean media label these stories as ‘American lies and propaganda’.

Wondering what life is really like in North Korea, filmmaker Álvaro Longoria was authorized to take a look, albeit under strict surveillance: a state official followed in his footsteps every single moment of the day. He gets the opportunity to interview a few civilians, visits an empty museum and a remarkably quiet hospital with no phones on the reception desk. Those interviewed all sing praises of The Great Leader, with a complete lack of criticism.

However, the information on which our image of the North Korean population is based is not always faithful to the truth. Longoria offers an inside look at how the country is perceived by Western media.


Álvaro Longoria
Álvaro Longoria, Tanja Georgieva
Country of production
France, Spain
75 minutes
Spoken language
English, Korean, Spanish
Production company
Morena Films
World Sales
Memento Films International