August 21, Juche108(2019)

Five Major Revolutionary Dramas

The five major revolutionary dramas of the DPRK are Mountain Shrine-style dramas which were adapted under the guidance of General Kim Jong Il from the immortal classic works created by President Kim Il Sung during the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle. They are The Mountain Shrine, Blood at an International Conference, A Letter from a Daughter, Three Pretenders and Celebrations.

The Mountain Shrine, produced in 1978 by the National Theatrical Troupe, stresses through the contrasting delineation of an old woman and an intelligent young man that man should believe in his own strength, not in God or any other deity, and shape his destiny by his own efforts. The old woman thinks that people are doomed to misfortunes and sufferings, so they should offer prayer at the mountain shrine to escape the fate; the young man fights against oppression and exploitation and defends human dignity.

Blood at an International Conference, produced in 1984, gives a clear exposition of the truth that dependence on foreign forces leads to national ruin. On the basis of historical facts and in the context of contemporary life, the drama gives a vivid picture of Ri Jun who struggles to win back national sovereignty, as well as other characters from different strata. It culminates in the Emissary Incident at The Hague.

A Letter from a Daughter, produced in 1987, explains through a satirical delineation the truth of life that knowledge illuminates one’s path whereas ignorance dims it.

Three Pretenders, produced in 1987, highlights the consequences of factional strife and division through the satirical depiction of three ministers with different political affiliations in the imaginary state of Songdo, who resort to all sorts of schemes to claim the throne after the demise of the king and, in the end, lead their country to ruin.

Celebrations, produced in 1988, describes the historical fact of the Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army and people holding celebrations after spoiling the “celebrations” arranged by the Japanese “punitive” force to mark its fictitious “victory” over the guerrilla army.

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