Based on conversations recorded in Seoul with former North Korean citizens, accompanied by photographs taken in the country and at the border with China in the demilitarized zone, Blåfield conveys the way in which North Koreans have fantasized about the outside world, secretly watching banned Western films. An encounter with the unknown in relation to imagination and reality, alternating documentary length and visual effects and posing the question of how to define reality and what we want to believe; turning the usual Western curiosity towards this closed state around, with it here being North Koreans imagining how life is in Western countries.
MAIJA BLÅFIELD (Helsinki, Finland, 1973). Her work lies between documentary and experimental film. She first directed with the full-length SAVING THE WORLD (2005) and the short KUN TAIVAS PUTOAA… (2007), exhibited at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2015 she took part in DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival with the short KULTA-AIKA (2015). ON DESTRUCTION AND PRESERVATION (2018) premièred at Visions du Réel, and among other distinctions received were the main prize at the 57th Ann Arbor Film Festival 2019 and the Finnish State Media Art Awards 2014. Her most recent work, THE FANTASTIC, has been awarded in Moscow and Tampere, among other festivals. She runs her own production company, Häivekuva.