The Mother Lode Of North Korean Films

UPDATE:

Sadly for us, the site is down and and there is no sign of it coming back. I should have taken the chance to download the lot of them as an investment.

As mentioned in the comments, there are still plenty of films kicking around YouTube if you are looking to find them.

—————-

It seems North Korea is hitting the headlines again today. Questions about whether Kim Jong-un is a film fan seem to be answered by his apparent want to turn 1980s classic “WarGames” into a reality and yet this blog has remained relatively quiet. Especially after I boasted in my last post that I was going to unleash the mother lode of North Korean film news.

Well, it’s almost with a heavy heart that I unleash this on you. A few months back a lovely man called Charles emailed me a link to a site that was hosting over 500 North Korean films for download. At around US$2 each.

So there. I faced it. The reality of chasing down copies of North Korean films off dodgy Russian torrent sites, the awesome people I meet on the comments board of this site, has become needless. The internet is an amazing place, but I just miss the days when you could trawl around looking for things for days/weeks/months and not find it. Now it’s all here under one roof.

KMVC5

So Hong Kong company KMVC5 (and they’ve made it even easier by giving you the option to put it in English) representing Mokran are offering you the best chance to get hold of literally hundreds of hard to find North Korean Films, cartoon, performances and documentaries.

So go there. Watch movies and let me know about them. In the meantime, I’m going to watch this YouTube clip of a Mokran factory in North Korea making DVDs. What an absolute banging soundtrack.

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22 thoughts on “The Mother Lode Of North Korean Films

    • Not sure about that, I’m afraid. I guess the best place to start would see if anyone wanted to fan-sub it. Perhaps we can rally support. Or maybe even a kickstarter campaign to fund it? I was thinking of that to get some South Korean books about DPRK films translated.

      • I think it is very difficult to find a translator, I was hopping that the authorities already had translated the Nation and Destiny series, as they contain a lot of interesting historical viewpoints, explicit ideological messages, emotional stories, and famous actors and characters.
        Tudou is the Chinese Youtube, unfortunately larger videos cannot be streamed outside China, I’m having difficulties with my proxy, there is a lot of North Korean movies there (of course without subtitles) Here is an example of a NK movie I found: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/7oomiS5C4LQ/

      • Sorry for the late reply –been busy on and off work for the entire month. My Korean speaking skills have deteriorated, but I’m still pretty good with my reading. Feel free to hit me up by e-mail, and I’ll try to find some time to help out in any way possible.

    • I think they’ve got to be the longest running series of films… or could they be clased as “serials”. Or does the James Bond franchise have an answer for us.

  1. I guess that’s my question. Do these fifty-part films tell one, continuous story or do they simply deploy the same set of characters in different situations (like the Toru-san series)? The Bond films is a series of separate films. They are not numbered or considered parts of a larger whole.
    I guess I’ll have to go to that HK site and find out for myself.

    • I think that the Nation and Destiny films are dramatizations of the lives of national heroes. Just to complicate things, the North Korean film industry likes to split individual stories into two or three parts each.

      If the Wikipedia entry is correct, Unsung Heroes is a twenty-part serial telling a continuous story with the same characters.

      • Based on the clips that are on YouTube “Unsung Heroes” looks like the most insane film ever made: defectors as actors, incessant zooms, an oppressive airlessness, language difficulties, and slavish (occasionally stylish) imitations of Gordon Willis and “The Godfather.” By contrast, “Santantango” is light entertainment.

        BTW, I had trouble at the kmvc5 site. I’ve registered but can’t download. Do I “cash in” before downloading? Any advice?

      • Yes, the site does require you to add cash before you can download. Bit strange but it works fine after that.

        I have a more detailed synopsis of the Unknown Heroes franchise which I will try to add to hopefully clear some things up.

  2. Hello once again, this is the fellow that originally contacted you! It appears that kmcv5 has been heavily updated and they are now taking translation orders! I just sent an email inquiring about the costs of this service and will get back to you guys soon.

  3. BTW, I have a few hundred dollars in my paypal account and wanted to know if there are any films that you are particularly interested in! There are so many choices, but I am leaning towards the Nation and Destiny films (only the first 13 or so are translated) which give interesting insight into the North Korean view of South Korea, and non-military films from the last 2 decades.

    • Hey I’m going to upload the last parts of Nation and Destiny, so don’t spend your money on those, Unfortunatly as you said, after part 13 there are no translations on KMVC5.com , Maybere the translation is available somewhere else, there are many movies on KMVC5 that are not translated there, but exist somewhere, for example on Youtube. Part 26 to 44 of Nation and Destiny deals with the Workers of Cholima Steel Plant, and are very strong depiction of sentiments and propaganda at the height of the famine, I can recommend those. If you are interested in the DPRK’s view on the outside I can recommend the 5 Part movie serie “The Country I saw” I have uploaded the first part, you can read about the other parts which involves justification of Nuclear missils here: http://38north.org/2012/08/jlewis083012/
      By the way I have proof that “the Country I saw” exist as an officially translated version, there are parts of it uploaded on Youtube on a hidden account: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuaZL0c5nfA
      And here is the source: http://kpopreader.com/2011/09/24/the-partisan-the-hidden-hero-and-the-foreign-observer-three-subjects-in-north-korean-film/
      Good luck and get back to me if you find anything interesting!

  4. Hej,
    thanks a lot for the link @ charles and @dprkfilms for making it public.
    may it be due to too heavy access of the site, but my attempt to visit the mother lode of nk movies was slighted with these words: website under construction

    I hope they haven’t removed the site for good…

    cheers from germany

  5. Hej
    thanks for posting the link!

    may it be due to too heavy access of the site, but my attempt of visiting the mother lode of nk movies was slighted with these words: website under construction

    I hope they haven’t removed the site for good…

    cheers

  6. Here’s an article with links to North Korean films with English subtitles, on top of KMVC5.
    http://www.piie.com/blogs/nk/?p=10627

    The 우리민족끼리 (Uriminzokkiri/”Amongst Our People”) youtube page has a playlist for movies (https://www.youtube.com/user/uriminzokkiri/search?query=%EC%98%81%ED%99%94) and childrens’ cartoons (https://www.youtube.com/user/uriminzokkiri/search?query=%EC%95%84%EB%8F%99%EC%98%81%ED%99%94), but none with English subtitles.

    There’s also this website based in Japan: http://Elufa-tv.net. If anyone has the time to compare all these free services to KMVC5, let me know.

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