Carol Medlicott
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Nation and nature in North Korean film
in Cinematic countrysides
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This chapter considers a specific set of northern Korean rural landscapes represented in visual arts, particularly film and stage productions, although rural landscape images of various types persist throughout an array of propaganda media. It proposes that the North Korean state selected a precise countryside image as the prototypical landscape of nationalism and that this landscape type serves as a canvas against which dramatised versions of nationalist myths unfold. Drawing from film and stage versions of several important North Korean 'revolutionary operas', the chapter explores how the North Korean regime has articulated the nationin a specific rural setting, namely the mountainous and thickly forested far-northern border area of the Korean peninsula. Several nature motifs dominate North Korean revolutionary opera, including Paektusan mountain itself, the rugged and climatically harsh topography, and the characteristic timberline coniferous forest of that high-altitude zone.

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