A witty and controversial documentary from Zentropa, which won the SUNDANCE World Cinema Jury Prize in 2010.
A journalist with no scruples and two Danish/Korean comedians—one a self-proclaimed “spastic”—travel to North Korea under the guise of a cultural exchange. On the pretext of being a small Danish theatre group, named The Red Chapel, they are allowed into the country, but unbeknownst to the North Koreans, cultural exchange is not really what they have in mind. Mads Brügger, the journalist; Simon, the straight man; and Jacob, the spastic, use humor to challenge one of the world’s most notorious regimes. The troupe rehearse under the watchful eye of government officials brought in to “collaborate” on their performance and make it more palatable for the Korean regime. They are shown the important historical sights by a female government employee, who smothers poor Jacob with motherly affection.
Fusing elements of activist filmmaking with theater of the absurd, The Red Chapel is an acerbic romp, as subversive as it is wildly original.