Director: N.C. Heikin
N.C. Heikin studied dance and theatre at Sarah Lawrence College. As guest director of the Native American Theatre ensemble, she collaborated with Peter Brook on a series of workshops with his company, as well as creating, with the ensemble, “Coyote Tracks,” a musical based on the Coyote legends. In 1986 she began screenwriting with commissions from Paramount and Disney and has since done movies for TV and episodic work. Heikin made her film directing debut in 2004, with her prize-winning narrative short, manana. Kimjongilia is her first documentary.
For 60 years, North Korea has been one of the most isolated countries in the world. N.C. Heikin’s fascinating, formally inventive film chronicles the experiences of a number of defectors from the country, who tell harrowing stories of concentration camps, mass famine, and seemingly impossible escapes. The picture they paint is alarming, even for those who keep well informed – a portrait of an entire nation forced to live in thrall, first to god-like dictator Kim Il Song and, after his death, to his son, Kim Jong Il.