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Bryant Manning
Time Out Chicago, October 2008

The New York Philharmonic’s invitation to play in Pyongyang, North Korea, in February [2008] is one of the year’s most intriguing political stories—campaigns and Fannie Mae included. Nuke wrangling and “axis of evil” name-calling seem a little less probable when you witness these two countries share music so civilly. Israeli filmmaker Heller expertly preserves the whole miraculous 48-hour experiment in this new DVD documentary, which also features uninterrupted concert material…For all Pyongyang’s gloom, it’s a place that cherishes music. NY Phil’s concertmaster, Glenn Dicterow, shows a grateful young Korean woman how to play Mozart. Maazel takes a break and conducts the almost-all-male North Korean National Orchestra through Tchaikovsky and Wagner. At a moment when we don’t even know if Kim Jong Il is dead or alive, this rare documentary penetrates deep into a forbidden culture, making this one of our generation’s most important artistic artifacts.

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12:43:08 AM, 7 October 2015
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