Most Americans are deeply misinformed about North Korea.
People tend to assume the country is wildly irrational and teetering toward collapse.
That's understandable. Decades of economic mismanagement have driven most North Koreans into desperate poverty. And the ruling Kim family's militarism and nuclear brinksmanship have left the country with few friends in the global community.
Commonsense says this is a forumula for disaster. International observers have been predicting North Korea's imminent economic implosion for over two decades.
And yet, North Korea has survived. It's still defying popular expectations.
Juche Strong provides an answer.
This film explodes the most pernicious misconceptions of North Korea and argues that the propaganda-fueled national ideology has played an integral role in keeping the country together.
The Kim regime has crafted a very specific national ideology designed to tap into the unique cultural and religious heritage of the Korean people. Juche Strong delves into the specifics of that ideology and shows how it instills a collective sense of purpose.
"Juche" is North Korea's founding philosophical precept. Roughly, it translates to "self-reliance" -- the idea that North Koreans are free from polluting foreign influences and capable of crafting a prosperous nation on their own.
The film is grounded in interviews with over a dozen prominent North Korean scholars, including Bruce Cummings, David Kang, Victor Cha, Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland, and Suk-Young Kim.
Juche Strong also includes interviews with a North Korean defector now living in the United States and world-renowned evolutionary psychologist Jonathan Haidt.
Director Rob Montz visited and filmed in North Korea in the summer of 2012.
We recently finished the final cut and would love to get it out to the world. But we need financing for licensing costs and distribution. Juche Strong will premiere within just a couple weeks of the campaign ending, with public screenings-plus-director-Q/A already scheduled on both coasts. The film will also screen at several major American film festivals.
Juche Strong is sponsored by the non-profit Moving Picture Institute. Every dollar donated is tax-deductible.