The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is well known throughout the world for its excellent and unique culture , a truly Juche-based culture that is socialist in content and national in form. When you listen to DPRK music or watch films from the DPRK you are always struck by its militancy, quality and sheer vibrancy.
In countries of the imperialist West , culture has been in crisis for a long time . In capitalist society culture and art are merely a means of moneymaking for the capitalist monopolies . They control what gets published only books, films and music that are profitable get published . Culture should be a means of encouraging man to rise above himself but under capitalism it is the complete opposite. Modern imperialist, capitalist culture always appeals to the lowest common denominator. Films in Western countries are filled with sex and violence . The total decadence of Western culture is demonstrated by the fact the murder scene in the shower in Alfred Hitchcock's "Pyscho" is seen as some of kind of wonderful defining moment in Western cultural history
The great leader comrade KIM JONG IL said of Western films "Bourgeois tastes are just like narcotics. A person begins by taking a drug, but eventually he is himself taken by the drug. There are manyforeign films full of narcotics. If we watch them not from the Party,Juche stand, but merely out of interest, we might be poisoned by these narcotics and infected by evil ideas before we know it"
This is a very accurate and perceptive description of how poisonous imperialist culture is .
The building of Juche-based culture in the DPRK is intimately associated with the life and revolutionary activities of the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL.His guidance to culture spanned several decades and he wrote many works on culture including the famous definitive work "On The Art of the Cinema ". Comrade KIM JONG IL always maintained that the DPRK's culture should be Juche-based . He put into effect the idea of the great leader President KIM IL SUNG that culture should be national in form and socialist in content. Comrade KIM JONG IL worked hard to ensure that the monolithic ideological system of Juche was established in culture. He firmly rejected modern revisionism in culture saying that " The modern revisionists ,in sympathy with bourgeois art,are adopting it,denying Party spirit ,working -class spirit and popular character of art and literature ".This was indeed true. In the revisionist countries not only did imperialist culture infiltrate but bourgeois ideology seeped into films, literature and art. In fact in several socialist countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia "dissidents" aka bourgeois counter-revolutionaries controlled the cinema and produced all kinds of cynical or overtly anti-socialist films (for example "Man of Marble " and "Closely Observed Trains"). Thanks to the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL the DPRK did not down this terrible path but instead produced excellent militant revolutionary films full of strong anti-imperialist and proletarian content.Watching a DPRK film is always profound experience and an ideological shot in the arm.
From his early days of working at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea , comrade KIM JONG IL took a keen interest in guiding cultural work particularly that of the cinema. As the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL himself pointed out "The Cinema occupies an important place in the development of literature and art "
Comrade KIM JONG IL took a keen interest in film production and worked day and night guiding the DPRK's film industry.
Comrade KIM JONG IL was involved in the production of the films "The Path to Awakening " and the classic anti American , anti-imperialist film of the DPRK " Family of Choe Hak Sin . This film is based on the true story of the Christian pastor in Taedong county. In the film the central character is the Christian preacher Choe Hak Sin who enthusiastically welcomes the US imperialist troops to his village only for his wife and some of his children and an old bellringer to be slaughtered in cold blood by the Americans. Comrade KIM JONG IL wrote "The workers in the arts must express anti-US sentiments thoroughly,through the depiction of characters̄ personalities and in their wordsas well as in the scenes, and complete The Family of Choe Hak Sin so as to make it an excellent piece, both in terms of ideological and artistic quality."
The family of Choe Hak Sin is a very atmospheric film. The film climaxes when Choe Hak Sin's son who is a south Korean puppet army officer is ordered by the US imperialists to shoot dead the old bellringer , however he shoots the Yankee officer so the Americans kill both him and the bellinger . Then US planes bomb the area destroying the Christian church. Choe Hak Sin having lost his son , daughter and wife and his church now realises how wrong it was to support the US imperialists and calls for the Korean People's Army and People's Guerrilla units to take revenge on the US imperialist aggressors. The film really does infuse people with a hatred of the US imperialists, it is most impressive to watch.
Comrade KIM JONG IL was responsible for making the classic revolutionary operas such as the "Flower Girl " and the "Sea of Blood " into films . The "Flower Girl " won an award at the 18th
Karoly Vary film festival.
Comrade KIM JONG IL wrote the historic thesis "On the Art of the Cinema " on the 11th of April 1973 which is an encylopedic work covering all aspects of the craft of the cinema. On the Art of the Cinema comprises eight basic chapters—Life and Literature, Directing for the Cinema, Actor and Character, Camera and Image, Screen Art and Fine Art, Scenes and Music, Art and Creative Endeavour and Guiding the Creative Process. These are further subdivided into 47 sections under different subtitles such as Literature Is a Humanics, The Seed Is the Core of a Literary Work, Originality Is the Essence of Creation, The Director Is the Commander of the Creative Group, The Actor Is the Face of the Film and A Film without Music Is Incomplete. This work became very famous throughout the world.
Later on the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL was involved in the production the famous multi-part film of the DPRK "The Nation and Destiny ". I hav watched the four parts of the film "Choe Hyon Dok " which is actually based on the real life figure Choe Dok Sin (former south Korean general and ex foreign minister of south Korea who after going into exile from south Korea decided to take up permanent residence in the DPRK). The film is very complex and deep as centring on the feelings , thoughts and perceptions of Choe Hyon Dok who is intially wary of visiting the DPRK. Similarly some in the DPRK have bad feelings towards Choe Hyon Dok because a unit under his command committed atrocities during the war. At the end of the fim these complexities are resolved.
The film industry was just one of the areas of culture that the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL guided. Literature, music and art were also guided by comrade KIM JONG IL. In the 1960s and 1970s comrade KIM JONG IL totally revolutionised Opera in the DPRK. Previously opera was an art form associated with Europe. Moreover it was also very much associated with the bourgeoisie and aristocracy in European countries . Workers were too poor to buy opera tickets that were expensive .Working class people in European countries also viewed opera with contempt seeing it as the art of effete dilettantes.It was a big challenge to make Opera Juche-based, revolutionary and relevant to working class people. Only a great leader and great thinker could rise to such as a challenge. Comrade KIM JONG IL revolutionised the opera in the DPRK by inroducing "pangchang" which is an off stage chorus. He oversee the production of many classic revolutionary operas such as the "Sea of Blood " and "True Daughter of the Party " .
Always a people's leader and a true populist comrade KIM JONG IL in the 1980s turned his attention to the production of modern popular music. Under his sublime guidance the "Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble " and "Wangjaesan Light Music band " were created . These groups were known for their wonderful music. I always found the tunes of these groups very catchy to listen to. It was a real delight to see the artistes from these two groups at the 10,000 gala performance on the River Taedong to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers' Party of Korea.
The DPRK's Juche-based culture, which is associated with the guidance of the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL and his work , shines out as a brilliant culture that is modern , is socialist and is national in form. One is always struck by the contrast between the healthy , vibrant and cheerful culture of the DPRK and sick , decadent and moribund culture of the West. The DPRK is sure to win the cultural war with imperialism, indeed it is winning ,thanks to the work done by the great leader comrade KIM JONG IL which is now continued by his loyal and reliable successor dear respected Marshal KIM JONG UN .
Dr Dermot Hudson
President Association for the Study of Songun Politics UK
Chairman Juche Idea Study Group of England
Official Delegate Korean Friendship Association UK.
Chairman UK Preparatory Committee for For the 2017 Gathering to Praise the Great Persons Born of Mt Paektu
Member International Committee for the Study of Songun Politics.