North Korean leader Kim Jong Un starred in a state media documentary, which was released on Tuesday.

  • The documentary is titled “The Great Year of Victory, 2021”, and chronicles the achievements on missile development, construction and efforts to beat the pandemic, lauding the projects as “victory,” similar to other documentaries crafted by the state to create a sense of cultish divinity around Kim.
  • A scene in the 110-minute film shows Kim, who is noticeably thinned and limping, as he takes on the impoverished country’s “worst hardships” amid the pandemic and sanctions over its weapons programs, according to NBC News.
  • “What is urgently needed in stabilizing the people’s livelihood is to relieve the tension created by the food supply,” Kim said in the movie, according to The Hill, going as far as to call the situation a “food crisis.”
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What does the movie imply?

  • “The overriding theme of the documentary is Kim’s devotion to and hard work for the people,” Rachel Minyoung Lee, a nonresident fellow with the 38 North program at the Washington-based Stimson Center, per NBC News.
  • “This video showed his motherly side where he completely dedicated his own body to realize people’s dreams,” the narrator said after Kim was described as having “completely withered away,” as he struggled to walk down the stairs on a rainy day at a construction site.
  • To describe and portray Kim in that manner is completely strategic. Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said, “They are trying to paint him as a leader who very much loves his people and, as a result, is often overworked and gets tired,” per CBS News.