We hear a lot about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly called North Korea. Most of it is just the evils of the government, but rarely do we see much of the day-to-day life of North Korea’s average citizens.
Enter Pyongyang, an artistic project by JT Singh and Rob Whitworth, shows the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in all of its mundane minutiae. Instead of depicting the typical human rights violations, the video shows a stunning time lapse of the city’s drab streets, complete with a beautiful soundtrack.
Of course, this North Korea tour represents the best side of North Korean life, as the city is more prosperous than the miserable poverty in the nation’s more rural areas and the filmmakers weren’t allowed to film any military officials.
The FAQ from their video description is reprinted below:
How were you guys allowed to film in Pyongyang?
This project was produced in conjunction with Koryo Tours, the leading North Korea travel specialist. Co-producer Vicky Mohieddeen of Koryo Tours was with us throughout the shoot.
Were there restrictions on what was allowed to be filmed?
We were closely assisted by two guides from the National Tourism Administration, who helped us gain special access to locations and made sure that we followed all the rules. As is standard for all foreign visitors to the country, we were not allowed to shoot any construction sites, undeveloped locations or military personnel. Other than that we were given relatively free reign.
Isn’t this all fake? You don’t see the real North Korea.
The average visitor to Pyongyang is likely to be surprised by the scenes they encounter and are especially surprised about how clean and orderly the city actually is. Indeed, people living in Pyongyang and other major cities enjoy a higher quality of life than those in other parts of the county.
Are people allowed to travel to North Korea?
Yes, despite what the majority of people think, it is possible to visit North Korea as a tourist. North Korea does not release official data on the number of Western tourists it receives, but estimates range from 4,000 to 6,000 per year. Most of the foreign tourists are from Mainland China, estimated in the tens of thousands annually.
Were you paid to make this film?
We volunteered for this project with no pay at all. All other travel expenses for the 6 day trip were covered by Koryo Tours.
Does this film support the DPRK government?
“Enter Pyongyang” is an observational film. At no point did Koryo Tours or we have to pretend to be supporters of the DPRK Government or their philosophy in order to be granted permission to shoot this film. Amazingly, we were given complete editorial control in the making of this piece.
Watch the video above.