The Schoolgirl’s Diary (2006, English Subtitles)
Alternate Titles: “A Schoolgirl’s Diary”, “The Journal of a Schoolgirl”
This is one of the only DPRK movies to be distributed abroad, as it saw a limited straight-to-DVD release in France during 2007.
At first, this movie seems like the typical Communist fare. A coming-of-age girl has a deadbeat father who she wants to be a bigger part of the family. She resents him and doesn’t know what to do with her life.
Eventually, her father discovers how to establish a computerized production line, and he is revered throughout the country. Her daughter learns that her father and mother both devoted their lives to science and General Kim Jong-Il, and they were both justly rewarded. She decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a scientist.
But, the unusual thing seen here is the pining for material goods. Su Ryon is seen wanting to live in an apartment. Normally, this would be dismissed as a foolish young urge, but she is rewarded with a fully furnished apartment to live in by the end of the movie. This could be seen as a reward to the father for devoting his life to the state, or it could be seen as a capitalistic desire fulfilled. Either way, it’s something to think about.
Su Ryon- Pak Mi-hyang
San Myong- Kim Chol
Jong Ran- Kim Yong-suk
Director: Jang In-hak
Director of Photography: Hwang Ryong-chol
Script: An Jin-bo
Art Design: Ro Yong-gil
Music: Jo Song-su
A Production of the Korean Film Studio