Finland, 13 min
Before sliding into the uniform of his father, the dictator and founder of the “Republic” of North Korea, Kim Jong II was passionate about film. He was said to have a collection of 20,000 videos, with a predilection for action films… from the West of course. One-time director of Arts and Humanities at the Department of Agitation and Propaganda, he wrote in the 1970s an essay on the theoretical practice of how the 7th art should express the ideology in place. Jan Iljäs drew inspiration from the clear principles of the “Shining Star” to create a short film composed of shots taken during a touristic trip to the country. Focused on the last chapter of this bible, which deals with set design, On the Art of Set Design is a dark satire. The narrator’s voiceover, with a hint of robotics, delivers a speech without pausing for breath on how to master representations, whilst the contrasting editing shows the truth, finds ironic counterpoints and draws a spark of reality from a controlled North Korean theatre.
International Medium Length & Short Film Competition