This article was originally published at Right Now: Human Rights in Australia, an edited version is below.
Aim High in Creation!
Directed by Anna Broinowski (Forbidden Lie$), Aim High in Creation! is a fascinating look behind the scenes of one of the biggest propaganda machines (aside from Hollywood!) in the world – that of North Korea. It is also the story of an Australian director’s travels to North Korea for advice on how to make a film about the dangers of fracking, something that is of increasing importance in the Australian and global landscape.
Broinowski heard that that her local park would be subjected to fracking – the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground to release natural gas trapped within the earth. There are concerns this process causes pollutants and toxins to enter the immediate community.
In order to get people interested in the issue, Broinowski thought it opportune to seek the wisdom of the North Korean cinematic elite in the hope that she could produce a movie that would capture the hearts of the people, in the way that North Korean cinema does (though admittedly, North Korea does have a captive audience). The documentary plots her visit to North Korea to seek guidance on filmic principles set down by former leader Kim Jong Il and provides insight into the machinations of it’s film industry.
Aim High in Creation! is engaging because it provides a juxtaposition of two very different cultures while highlighting the commonalities – cinema is used by both to highlight key issues within society in the hope of a wider dissemination of the message. The result is a hybrid Australian-North Korean production that certainly get’s the message across in an entertaining and highly novel way.
Aim High in Creation! doesn’t shed any light on human rights issues in North Korea, nor does it purport to do so, rather it uses North Korea as a mirror to Australian society and provides examples of where the environment rather than politics and money has triumphed. It’s an entertaining documentary that is well worth seeing and will perhaps teach you a thing or two about how to make a novel impact.