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The first Western Group in the Iron North Korea

A documentary tells the journey, in 2015, of the Slovenian Laibach, the pioneers in giving a concert in the totalitarian Asian country

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The first Western Group in the Iron North Korea

On American television everything was mockery: first concert of a Western group in history of North Korea ... and is it in charge of an experimental Slovenian group? The satirical programs made ir August, and it was not for less: headline seemed drawn from a peliculera parody of Kim Jong-un.

But it was not a joke, let alone coming from Laibach, a collective of industrial music emerged in Yugoslavia of Tito, which has stirred consciences and souls biempensantes from 1980 from use and manipulation of images and symbology of Fascist and communist inspiration. As Liberation Day explains, film that inaugurates festival in-Edit Beefeater on October 26th in Barcelona and travels band's journey in North Korea in 2015, proposal that seemed insane was completely serious.

How was it possible for North Korean government to accept? "If I told you, I would have to kill you," jokes Norwegian director of documentary and architect of project Morten Traavik. "It was actually because of my previous work in country, which I have been many times for or artistic exchanges," he explains. Traavik has conducted controversial and successful work in North Korea and also in Angola, where he produced Miss Landmine Angola 2007, first beauty pageant for women affected by landmines.

It is No wonder that Traavik proposed to Laibach for this company. Laibach's interest in mass mobilization is evident: His work has been based on subverting both images and hymns, and y have versioning, among ors, songs of Smiles and Tears or Opus life is life, with enormous success. In words of philosopher superstar Slavoj Zizek in documentary: "As a dissident movement, it is only one that does not accept basic premises of regime: true subversion of system is not to criticize its values, but to expose that reverse."

The vicissitudes of a hermetic country

But let no one be deceived, liberation Day is of everything but an ironic and postmodern film. Faced with obvious difficulties of preparing a spectacle in Pyongyang, members of Laibach had to leave symbolic rereadings aside to devote mselves to avoiding, when not accepting resignation, to Korean bureaucracy, which decided Collectively how to connect a microphone or a loudspeaker, it did not allow use of sunglasses in front of public monuments, and interfered with camera angles or images to be projected during concert.

And, despite everything, re is music. "That's perhaps most important thing in movie," recognizes Traavik. "In face of censorship in North Korea, what is becoming apparent is transformative power of music." "And, it, within all that y could have censured of his performance, group came out quite unscad."

Thus, in liberation Day you can see how North Korea beyond evident romantic seduction that provides some nostalgic Laibach who praise collective decision-making and absence of individuality, civil distrust mixes with The tenacious and heroic will of mediators to carry forward one that seemed an impossible project. "The two most important people in project are workers I have collaborated with before, and y played a lot with ir own government to be able to bring concert to a good port," explains Traavik. And, above all, it transcends conclusion that any cultural exchange is necessarily a takeover and a DACA.

Unexpected censorship

Amid growing tensions on border with South Korea and constant nuclear threat, oddly liberation Day did not pose a problem with government of Kim Jong-Un for his filmmakers once released. "I don't expect it to be a blockbuster re, but I have not received explicit reviews," says Traavik. "The only thing I've been told is that y would have filmed things differently."

The unexpected Pulla is towards anor group much closer. The film warns at a specific time that it has had to suppress an interview made with a German metal band that put Laibach as a clear reference musical and artistic, because members had changed ir minds and decided not to participate in Documentary. In film y are not named, but Traavik confirms that it is Rammstein. "The excuse y put is that y didn't feel that liberation Day was about Laibach, but about me." Although ir interventions were contextualized and could have also been included, ir lawyers threatened a trial that would paralyze premiere of film, "explains Traavik.

In end, censorship in footage for Slovenes came, but not supreme leader, but a group of Berlin industrial metal. The American press already has for a few more jokes.


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