DMZ 0+

S. Ruippo - J. Hokkanen, FIN 2007, without dialogues, 4 min

The 38th parallel north, which divides the Korean peninsula right in the middle, is one of the most closely guarded borders in the world. A four–kilometre demilitarised zone, with a military demarcation line in the middle, was created at the border in 1953. In the same year it was the venue for the signing of an armistice agreement. Because that agreement was not followed by a peace treaty North and South Korea remain technically at war, an absurdity which provided two Finnish filmmakers with the impetus for this picture. In a mere four minutes, images of contemporary North Korea fly by: military parades alternate with remarkably attired majorettes, communist monuments, the omnipresent face of Kim Jong–il – and photographs of desperate attempts to cross the highly guarded border. Darkly humorous shots too capture the reality of life in North Korea in all its nightmarish totalitarian absurdity.


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