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Aim High in Creation!: A One-of-a-Kind Journey inside North Korea's Propaganda Machine

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
An Authentic Glimpse of a North Korea We’ve Never Seen Before, by a Prize-Winning Filmmaker

Anna Broinowski is the only Westerner ever granted full access to North Korea’s propaganda machine, its film industry. Aim High in Creation! is her funny, surreal, insightful account of her twenty-one-day apprenticeship there. At the same time it is a fresh-eyed look, beyond stereoty
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Arcade Publishing
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Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Aim High in Creation!: A One-of-a-Kind Journey inside North Korea's Propaganda Machine by Anna Broinowski is an Australian filmmaker's experience in North Korea. Broinowski fell into filmmaking by accident – when she uncovered Japan’s queer, bikie, and Otaku subcultures in cult hit, HELL BENTO!! She’s been working as a director/writer/producer ever since. Her last film, FORBIDDEN LIE$, about hoax author Norma Khouri, was one of the top ten highest grossing Australian theatrical docs of all time. ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are some funny and interesting anecdotes told in this unique project, but the bottom line is that a privileged tourist traipsing around Pyongyang barely sees the tip of the North Korean iceberg. There is too much we can't see and can't know to accept this author's naive view that maybe North Korea isn't so bad. The stories told of those held prisoner by the regime and those who have defected hold more sway. Meanwhile, projects like this (glorified tourism) financially prop up an unstable a ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of those books that has so much potential, but ends up falling unfortunately flat. Pretty much anything about North Korea is bound to be interesting simply because we know so little about what actually goes on there. Broinowski was given amazing access to the top filmmakers in DPRK, but didn't spend much time parsing apart what she learned and why she was given this access in the first place.

Here's the (somewhat convoluted) premise: Broinowski lives in Australia. There is a company
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Angered and dismayed at the plans being made for “fracking” near her Sydney home, film-maker Anna Broinowski decided to do something about it. And, somewhat bizarrely, she wondered if North Korean propaganda film techniques could help her make her own effective and persuasive film. Surprisingly she was given permission to go to North Korea and work with some of the country’s leading directors, producers and actors, and gained an astonishing insight not only into the North Korean film industry bu ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Before I went to North Korea last year, I read quite a few books about the country. The number of books that claimed to provide a unique insight into the hermit kingdom was frankly staggering, and to be honest, most didn’t deliver. Aim High in Creation! makes similar claims, but in this case it’s mostly true. I’ve read books about North Korean films and propaganda before, but I never felt as close to the action as I did while reading this book. I found Ms Broinowski’s story interesting, even if ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway

Aim High in Creation starts out really slow and doesn't get much better until about halfway through. I'm still a bit unclear how Broinowski's whole adventure to North Korea started but maybe that's my fault. In the end though I did find myself finishing the book because I enjoyed it and found at least the latter half throughly interesting.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Although this book offers an interesting view of North Korean cinema and culture, I found it way more detailed than I was interested in. It is not really about propaganda in the rhetorical sense (which interests me greatly), but rather about the writer's attempts to enter North Korea and understand its film industry and how it is intimately and irrevocably linked to its rulers.
Heather Brown
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: dystopian
Anna Broinowski is a documentary filmmaker and one of the few granted access to North Korea's film industry. This look into North Korea's culture and industry shows how interesting and dichotomous this are and its leader can be. Ms Broinowski has a great style and makes it feel like you are listening to a close friend wow you with details of a crazy vacation.
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