BOOKS COVID RECS #52

*Spoilers Inside*

ok pals time for another apology - it’s another single rec day. lagging behind I know. But dw it’s not another 4 hour film about Nazi’s - no! it’s O Youth! a 1994 romcom from the DPRK!

It’s a v fun comedy about a family of 5 female athletes & one historian son who despite being 30 remains unmarried (ikr fucking hell). The daughters all suggest potential partners for their studious brother but as they’re all basketball players, weightlifters, etc (yuck!) the son and mother reject them all outright. Then one day at the library he meets a gorj young woman reading the same obscure provincial history that he is and even better she’s an embroiderer! A good wholesome feminine occupation! Finally! But wait, could it be? The first of many japes and misunderstandings revealing that she is in fact an extremely badass Taekwondo Champion who teaches taekwondo at the embroidery school? Oh no! The Dad & daughters concoct a plan for the brother and mum to witness the daughters training, prowess and dedication to the veneration of the Fatherland with a tour of ‘Youth Street’ where all the top athletes live and train in order to bring great glory to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. A helpful guide reminds them that the signage for the venerable Taekwondo Hall is made up in the handwriting of Comrade Kim Jong Il himself! Shed a tear! But the mum, though bursting with pride for her nation and it’s achievements is unmoved. The brother, after hearing a moving speech on how his thesis lacks the soul of the DPRK, is a convert, and once his new love defeats pretenders from across the globe in the glorious Korean sport of taekwondo and in her victory speech pays tribute to the True Socialism of Comrade Kim Il Sung the mother, of course, submits. She has learned a lesson about the changing nature of gender politics in 90s North Korea, and so have we.

Enjoy comrades, til tomorrow

P x