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LIBERATION DAY

12:30   2:30   4:40   7:00   9:10
Mon, Oct 23 only:  12:30   2:30   4:30   9:10 

Wednesday, October 18 - Tuesday, October 31

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DIRECTED BY UĢIS OLTE AND MORTEN TRAAVIK

“North Korea seems like a terrifying place to visit, but if it is really true that that guy [Laibach’s lead singer] is going to be singing The Sound of Music, I kind of want to go there!” – John Oliver, Last Week Tonight. The most bizarre true tale of North Korea yet – which is saying a lot: Slovenian industrial/art rock band Laibach is invited to be the first rock group to perform in the fortress state. The occasion for this jaw-dropping gig is the 70th anniversary of “Liberation Day,” marking the end of Japanese rule of Korea. Artist and filmmaker Morten Traavik successfully proposed the band, whose militaristic, vaguely fascistic personae seems to suit (or satirize?) the host country. What follows is a flurry of cultural clashes and censorship demands before the group performs in front of an audience who has never seen a live rock act. A concert film like no other.

NORWAY /  LATVIA • 2016 • 98 MINS. • IN ENGLISH AND KOREAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES • SUNDANCE NOW

Reviews

“This bizarre, one-off culture clash is chronicled with droll, highly entertaining bemusement. (The film) gets considerable comic mileage out of the friction between two very different brands of cultural eccentricity - but it succeeds as more than a diverting novelty, packed as it is with pointed observations on diplomacy and censorship in a country that’s still a mystery to many. (An) accessible blend of politics and pop curiosity. It’s Morten Traavik, their show’s intensely driven director (and co-helmer of the film itself), who emerges as the unlikely star of proceedings. (A) funny, thoughtful, knowingly absurd study of contrasting aberrations.”
– Guy Lodge, Variety

“Extraordinary. Charts the antics of the first western band allowed into the country - to perform thunderous versions of songs from The Sound of Music. The strangest North Korean tale yet. A genuinely historic event. It sounds bizarre. It is bizarre. It was only my own left-liberalism that allowed me to see how there was something moving in this surreal event. For all the absurdity, for all the questionable semi-satire, Laibach actually made contact with North Korea and caused a crack in the wall. In its ridiculous way, Laibach’s 80s art-rocker doom version of The Sound of Music was a kind of peace process.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)

“Humorous, disturbing, illuminating and sometimes moving.”
– Mojo’s 17 for 2017 (UK)

“A wonderful culture clash, funny, but also disconcerting and painful.”
– De Volkskrant (Netherlands)