Hanawon

2019

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Thirty-thousand North Korean defectors live in South Korea.

Soon after their arrival, defectors are sent to a residential school similar to a reeducation camp: Hanawon. There they attend a crash course on life south of the demilitarized zone. For twelve weeks they are taught the benefits of the market economy. Which can be a difficult concept to grasp for people who lived their whole lives in a socialist state. Back home they were engineers, computer scientists, qualified workers or farmers ; now they are all treated equally, considered illiterates of the contemporary world. They learn how to open a bank account, how to buy things with a credit card, how to behave in a working environment. The movie "Hanawon" gives voice to eight North Korean defectors who tell their experience of coping with capitalism and with concepts alien to them.

Running time: 15 min; Production: Jos de Putter; Music: Hakko - Broadcast on Nederlandse Publieke Omroep.

Festival selection :

  • Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, République Tchèque