5 and 8 PM
Under the Sun is adocumentary like no other. It takes viewers inside the unimaginable reality of the most isolated and most oppressive totalitarian regime on Earth, a comprehensivestatewide mental prison if there ever was one. Commissioned to produce a pro-regime propaganda, Russian director Vitaly Mansky, fending off continuous interferences by the ever-present minders, managesto document more than the paranoid regime has bargained for. Shot on location in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, the film follows Zin-mi, an eight-year-old girl and her parents in the year that she prepares to join the Korean Children's Union on the 'Day Of The Shining Star' (Kim Jong-Il's birthday). As the family receives instruction on how to be the ideal patriots, Mansky's watchful camera captures details his handlers might prefer left unseen, from comrades struggling to stay awake during an official event to Zin-mi's tears at a particularly grueling dance lesson, all the while showing the entire proceedings as patheticallyscripted sham. Winner of this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. 106 minutes. In Korean, with English subtitles.