Under the Sun

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Russia | 2015 | 106 minutes | Vitaly Mansky

Despite continuous interference by government handlers, who are frequently captured on camera though they prefer to remain unseen, director Vitaly Mansky documents life in North Korea's capital of Pyongyang, and one family's training to be ideal patriots.

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Welcome to a rare glimpse of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. Under the Sun started as a joint North Korean/Russian project directed by Russian documentary filmmaker Vitaly Mansky. For a year he followed a little girl named Zin-mi, who lives with her parents in Pyongyang, as she prepares to join the Korean Union for Children. Though his feature film was strictly controlled and monitored by his North Korean partners, Mansky still managed to capture the real humanity of the people through close-ups and flawlessly framed shots. He achieved this by not only filming the scripted shot, but also shooting long before the scenes started and continuing after they finished. Mansky, the founder of the Artdokfest Festival of Independent Films, is well known for provoking people as well as the system. His dictum during filming: “The author should be freed from the constraints of morality and concentrate on the legal restrictions.” So when his joint feature with the North Koreans inevitably ended up breaking down, he was left with a year of unique footage. The end result is Under the Sun—revealing a raw, real life behind the propaganda.

Director Biography
Vitaly Mansky is one of the most acclaimed contemporary Russian documentary filmmakers and producers. His first work appeared in 1989, and since then he has shot more than 30 films which have been screened at festivals worldwide.

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  • Original Language Title: V paprscích slunce
  • Director: Vitaly Mansky
  • Principal Cast: Zin-mi
  • Country: Russia, Latvia, Germany, Czech Republic
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Producer: Natalya Manskaya, Simone Baumann, Filip Remunda
  • Screenplay: Vitaly Mansky
  • Cinematographers: Alexandra Ivanova, Mikhail Gorubchuk
  • Editors: Andrej Paperny
  • Music: Karlis Ausans
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 2015 (Best Documentary), Tallinn Black Nights International Film Festival 2015 (Best Director)
  • Filmography: The Book (2014); Pipeline (Doc, 2013); Motherland or Death (Doc, 2011); Beginning (2009); Virginity (Doc, 2008); Dawn (2008); Gagarin’s Pioneers (2006); Broadway. The Black Sea (2002); Private Chronicles. Monologue (1999); Bliss (1995); Cuts of a Recurrent War (1993); Lenin’s Body (1991); Etudes about Love (1990-1995); Post (1990); Boomerang (1988)
  • Language: Korean
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Icarus Films
  • International Sales: Deckert Distribution