The Red Chapel
Directed by: Mads Brügger
Wednesday, December 29 - Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Directed by journalist-turned-filmmaker Mads Brügger, The Red Chapel focuses on a trio of Danish artists – director Mads Brügger, straight man Simon and self-proclaimed “spastic” Jacob – and their trip to North Korea under the guise of cultural exchange. Pretending to be a small Danish theatre group called The Red Chapel, they present themselves as regime sympathizers and mount an absurd variety show in Pyongyang.
Constantly shadowed by a guide, they rehearse under the watchful eye of government officials brought in to “collaborate” on their performance and make it more palatable for the Korean regime. But as the hoax plays out, the two comedians (both of North Korean descent) begin to emotionally unravel.
After directing and starring in the 2004 TV series “Danes for Bush,” Brügger elevates journalistic prank exploration into an art form. With his theater troupe’s hilarious eagerness to cross cultural lines, The Red Chapel exposes more than North-Korea’s reality bending machinery. It also reveals that the very framework of cultural exchange is embedded in a struggle for dominance and containment. Official selection: New Director’s/New Films, South by SouthwestNR, 87 Minutes
Lorber Films, Denmark