The Canadian Delegation

Festival Guest International Feature

In 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Bloc crumbled, North Korea held the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students. The festival cost a quarter of the state’s annual budget and was intended as a spectacular, highly organised display of strength and unity, and a means of increasing North Korea’s standing in the international community.  Among the 22,000 attendees was a group of young Canadian activists, and Elmer’s film looks back on their sometimes life-changing experiences in Pyongyang. Interviews with the delegates today are spliced with extraordinary footage from the festival, providing a fascinating perspective on a fraught historical moment as well as a glimpse of a society which remains largely closed to outsiders.

Cape Town
Labia 3
Sat 2 June / 8.30pm + Q&A
Labia 1
Tue 5 June / 6pm
Thu 7 June / 6.45pm + Q&A
Greg Elmer
Canada/North Korea
74 minutes