Filmfest 2019

German Age Rating

Unter the pretense of a cultural exchange, Mads Brügger undertakes an investigative journey to North Korea. With him are two Danes of Korean extraction, comedians, one of whom suffers from a cerebral motor impairment. The trio's comically subversive performance as they pretend to be a theater group called The Red Chapel doesn't sit well with North Koreans loyal to the regime. Influenced by the totalitarian system and its representatives, both the stage play and the viewer's perspective of this country and its inhabitants begins to change. In this way, Brügger's documentary enables a shocking inside look at the absurdity and the repression of daily life under the late dictator Kim Jong-il.

tags: Documentary, Humor, Current Affairs

With: Jacob Nossell, Simon Jul Jørgensen, Mads Brügger


Director of Photography: René Johannsen

Film Editor: René Johannsen

Production Designer: Ian Walsh

Costume Design: Simon Jul Jørgensen

Sound: Jakob Garfield, Mikkel Sørensen

Producer: Peter Engel

Production Company: Danmarks Radio (DR)

Co-Producer: Tomas Eskilsson

Director: Mads Brügger


Danish journalist, moderator, and filmmaker Mads Brügger was born in 1972. He worked in print media and radio and was the occasional host of THE 11TH HOUR (2007), a late-night talk show. Brügger's career in film and television began in 2001 as the author of several episodes of the Danish television series KLEINROCKS KABINET. Three years later, he directed the satirical documentary series DANES FOR BUSH. His documentary film THE RED CHAPEL (2009), in which he exposed the absurdity of the totalitarian North Korean regime, received the jury's award for best foreign documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. In THE AMBASSADOR (2011), Brügger posed as a diplomat in order to investigate Africa's trade in blood diamonds and received a Robert, Denmark's most prestigious film award, for best documentary. Since 2011, he has also been the head of programming at radio station Radio24syv. His first feature film, THE SAINT BERNARD SYNDICATE (2018), was, like THE RED CHAPEL and THE AMBASSADOR in previous years, screened at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. His latest film, COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD (2019), was also honored at the Sundance Film Festival; this time, Brügger received the award for best director of a foreign documentary.