On The Art Of The CinemaADDPMP172
On the Art of the Cinema is a 1973 treatise by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. It is considered the most authoritative work on North Korean filmmaking.
The book sets forth several original theories, which can be applied to the practices of filmmaking, the arts, and beyond. Of these the theory of literature as “humanics” and the “seed theory” are the most important ones. Humanics centers on the question of a good and worthy life. In art, it emphasizes truly independent individuals who are capable of transforming society. The seed theory has become essential to North Korean film theory. It seeks to direct all artistic creation through a single ideological foundation, or “seed”. In an individual work, the seed is the synthesis of its subject matter and idea and the basis of its propaganda message. These ideas complement the themes of nationalistic form and socialist content of films. Many ideas presented in the book are justifications for the creation of propaganda supporting the Workers’ Party of Korea’s policies.
On the Art of the Cinema had major political implications on Kim Jong-il’s succession of Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-il gained political and cultural influence in North Korean society and government by authoring the book.
The impact of On the Art of the Cinema on North Korean filmmaking is disputed. Films from before and after the publication of the treatise are similar in style and many contemporary films breach various rules laid out in the treatise.