On the Green Carpet

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On the Green Carpet
McCune–Reischauer P'urŭn Jutan-u-e-sŏ
Revised Romanization Pureun Judan-u-eseo
Directed by Rim Chang-bom
Starring Ri Gyong-hi
Ri Yong-ho
Release date
  • 2001 (2001)
Running time
81 minutes
Country North Korea
Language Korean

On the Green Carpet is a 2001 North Korean film directed by Rim Chang-bom. The film's title refers to the turf of the stadium which hosts the May Day mass games in Pyongyang.[1]


The film is a romantic comedy, which involves a coach who is preparing a group of schoolchildren for the May Day mass games, and a former colleague who has now become his superior. She feels that he is being too demanding of his young performers, as the show he has devised requires a series of multiple somersaults. However, the children are willing to work as hard as necessary to please their leader, Kim Jong-il, and the film culminates in a lavish display of their abilities.[1]

Everyday life in North Korea is presented as being pleasant and trouble-free, with no evidence of reported food shortages and an emphasis on the people's devotion to the "Dear Leader".[1][2]

Festival screenings and critical response[edit]

On the Green Carpet was the first North Korean film to be invited to the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was screened in 2004 as a special one-off event. It had been chosen by the festival committee from a selection of ten films, and aroused a great deal of interest despite being shown without subtitles and with a German language-only voice-over. The predominantly German audience who saw the film later criticized it for its "Nazi-style propaganda". Sheila Johnson of FIPRESCI regarded it as a "rare and fascinating curiosity", but noted: "On the Green Carpet, with its flat, high-key lighting, functional editing and over-fondness for the zoom lens, could have been made forty years ago; although the subject might be superficially similar, it was executed with none of the technical brilliance of a Leni Riefenstahl movie."[1]

On the Green Carpet has previously been screened at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival in 2001.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Johnson, Sheila. "North Korean Cinematography in Berlin: Rosy Picture Of Everyday Life". FIPRESCI, 2004. Retrieved on 27 October 2008.
  2. ^ Behnke, Alison. North Korea in Pictures, pp. 55. Twenty First Century Books, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8225-1908-9.
  3. ^ Holloway, Ron. "(1) 23rd Moscow International Film Festival 2001". Kinema, 2002. Retrieved on 27 October 2008.

External links[edit]