The Propaganda Game

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The Propaganda Game
The Propaganda Game.jpg
Movie poster of The Propaganda Game
Directed byÁlvaro Longoria
Produced byÁlvaro Longoria
Written byÁlvaro Longoria
Music byFernando Velázquez
  • Diego Dussuel
  • Rita Noriega
Edited by
  • Victoria Lammers
  • Alex Marquez
Release date
Running time
98 minutes
  • Spain
  • France

The Propaganda Game is a 2015 documentary film about North Korea by director Álvaro Longoria, described by The Hollywood Reporter as "effectively a well-mounted video diary of his short visit to the country" and "inevitably intriguing because of its subject".[1] Longoria was permitted to film high-quality footage within the country, his visit facilitated and monitored by Alejandro Cao de Benós,[2] the Spanish founder of the Korean Friendship Association who himself becomes a subject of the documentary.[3] The film, which includes interviews as well as archival and contemporary news footage, attempts to describe the nation's social realities with particular attention to media manipulation by the DPRK government, while also questioning the simplifications and caricatures about North Korea made by foreign observers.[1][3][4]

Longoria told Variety that he had deliberately avoided "the typical moving handheld secret look at North Korea", and that he undertook, in the film's striking opening sequence, "to use 'propaganda' aesthetics" and "to shoot North Korea in a way that hasn’t been shown before: as beautiful as possible", with attention to Pyongyang residents enjoying leisurely activities in their city. "Most people say they’ve never seen North Korea like that, which is surprising as we just shot what we were shown", Longoria said.[3] The filmmaker, who readily admits that he is not an expert in North Korea, "decided to make information manipulation the underlying plot" of his film,[3] and through the use of restrained commentary, to let viewers themselves decide what may or may not have been staged for his visit.[1][5]

The film had its world premiere at the September 2015 San Sebastián International Film Festival,[3] and was nominated for the award for Best Documentary Film at the 30th Goya Awards.


  1. ^ a b c Holland, Jonathan (September 20, 2015). "'The Propaganda Game': San Sebastian Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Skåtun, Ole Jakob (January 15, 2015). "Capitalist credentials: N. Korea sympathizer group's huge profit on access to country". NK News. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hopewell, John (September 20, 2015). "Alvaro Longoria on North Korea and Media Manipulation". Variety. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Hubble, Felix (November 3, 2015). "The Propaganda Game". 4:3 Film. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Hopewell, John (February 15, 2015). "Berlin: Memento Films Intl. Rolls Out Sales on 'The Propaganda Game' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2016.

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