The 17th annual Busan International Film Festival in South Korea has an surprising entry this year. A North Korean romantic-comedy called “Comrade Kim Goes Flying” made its way into the festival. While the majority of North Korean media is typically banned in South Korea, the North Korean film was accepted as a form of cultural exchange. This film is a bit unique though as the film had an international directing crew. In addition to North Korean director Kim Gwang-Hun, the film was also co-directed by Anja Daelmans and Nicholas Bonner of Belgium and England respectively.
The film is about a female coal miner named Kim Yong Mi who has dreams of becoming a trapeze artist and apparently accomplishes the task from the looks of the trailer. The romance appears to come in the form of a bombastic male rival trapeze artist named Pak Jang Phil who finds himself drawn to Kim despite initially mocking her.
Having a title like “Comrade Kim Goes Flying,” I must admit I was a bit hopeful this film was going to be a Top Gun remake starring Kim Jong Un as Maverick. Alas, we’ll have to rely on Marcus Noland’s savviness in the art of locating top notch YouTube videos to find a North Korean version of Top Gun.
Check out the trailer and commentary from two of the film’s directors below.