A delightful, winning, life-affirming fable about a young coal miner’s pursuit of her dream to become an acrobat, ‘Comrade Kim Goes Flying‘ marks a milestone in film history: it is the first collaboration of its kind made entirely in North Korea. This charming film wears its heavy historical mantle with grace, weaving a lovely, light-hearted tale whose themes — overcoming adversity, and realizing the dream of a lifetime—upend our assumptions of a largely cloistered culture.
Kim Yong-mi (Han Jong-sim) works as a coal miner in a small village. She dreams of one day joining the national circus and performing on the trapeze — even despite the fact that she is deathly afraid of heights. When she is promoted and sent to the capital, Pyongyang, she seizes the opportunity to make her dream come true. Insinuating herself into the circus and struggling to overcome her acrophobia, Yong-mi meets Pak Jang-phil (Pak Chung-guk), the arrogant, good-looking star of the Pyongyang Trapeze Troupe. At first, Jang-phil makes fun of the congenitally klutzy Yong-mi. But eventually her beauty, endearing personality and unyielding determination win him over, and teach him a valuable lesson in humility.
The team behind ‘Comrade Kim Goes Flying‘ — co-director Nicholas Bonner, an Englishman based in Beijing who has long promoted cultural exchange with North Korea; his collaborator Kim Gwang-hun, a North Korean filmmaker; and Belgian filmmaker Anja Daelemans, who also served as co-producer — spent six years putting this unprecedented project together, overcoming numerous difficulties — not least the fact that their stars are actual circus acrobats who had never acted before. But the result is a gorgeously filmed romantic comedy that transports us to a fantastic world seemingly out of time, with astonishing, candy-coloured images of the seldom-seen North Korea.
For Tickets to ‘Comrade Kim Goes Flying’ as part of the 2013 New York Asian Film Festival on Friday, July 5, 2013 @ 2:30pm – HERE
Friday, July 5, 2013
New York Asian Film Festival & Film Society of Lincoln Center present
‘COMRADE KIM GOES FLYING’
@ Walter Reade Theater
165 W 65 St.
New York, NY