Documentary: Northern Exposure

A North Korean family is getting ready for dinner in their bright, spacious Pyongyang apartment when the lights flicker out. With an air of resignation—blackouts are a daily ritual, even in the nation's showcase capital—they light candles to eat by, and the mother grumbles, "Bloody Americans, it's all their fault." The scene, at once mundane and extraordinary, is typical of A State of Mind, a new British documentary that offers an intimate look at the world's most shuttered society. As they chronicle the lives of two young gymnasts training to participate in the Mass Games—a stadium-sized patriotic spectacle staged to glorify...

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