Taking The Middle Path To Happiness
Director: Tom Vendetti
Imagine a country where happiness is the guiding principle of government. Imagine a people who see all life as sacred and the source of their happiness, a place with an abundance of clean and renewable energy, a nation committed to preserving its culture and whose progress is measured by obtaining Gross National Happiness for its people. Where is this Shangri-La? Bhutan. But can a place like Bhutan really exist? Can such ideals be realized? Can this small, geographically isolated country tucked away in the Himalayans truly protect its environment and culture as they open their doors to the West? The answer is rooted in the Bhutanese view of the world, anchored in Buddhism, with the simple message that happiness can only be found by taking the middle path the path that balances the needs of man with the powerful spirits of nature.
A TRIBUTE TO BERNIE KRISHER
Director: Laurie Kreindler
Two days after Prince Sihanouk returned from exile, he invited Bernie Krisher, Tokyo bureau Chief for Newsweek Magazine, to the Royal Palace and asked him to help him rebuild Cambodia. Bernie, who had escaped from Nazi Germany with his family 50 years earlier, immediately said “Yes, I’ll Do It!” and despite landmines, active Khmer rouge and the 1997 coup, inspired great people to do great things: the Cambodia Daily, the Sihanouk Hospital Center for HOPE, the Rural School Project, The Girls Be Ambitious Program, the Bright Future Kids Home, and A New Life Orphanage.
A STATE OF MIND
Director: Daniel Gordon
An observational film following two young gymnasts and their families for over eight months in the lead up to the Mass Games- involving a cast of thousands in a choreographed socialist realism spectacular- the biggest and most elaborate human performance on earth. Entitled ‘A State of Mind’, the film provides a rare glimpse into what is one of the world’s least known societies. North Korea is sealed off from outside influences. It borders China and Russia to the north, and to the south there is a 4km wide impenetrable border with South Korea. The country follows its own communist ideals, a strict philosophy known as the Juche Idea wrapped around the worship of the Kim dynasty – Kim II Sung, their Eternal President who died in 1994 but remains Head of State, and his son and successor, Kim Jong II, known as the General.
Not Satire: The Crossing Movie
by Alex Melton
For those of you who missed it, The Crossing is a deeply-affecting film depicting the disintegration of a North Korean family under the twin pressures of a dysfuctional economy and a malevolent political regime. Now, according to Lee Seok Young of the Daily NK, the film has found a new audience via bootlegged DVDs that are now circulating in the border region where the film is set. According to an unnamed North Korean source, the film even garners a premium over other standard bootlegged fare.