Watch Michael Palin in North Korea
- 1 Season
In 2018, Michael Palin embarked on a journey to North Korea, a country that has long been shrouded in mystery and intrigue. The documentary series, Michael Palin in North Korea, produced by National Geographic, follows Palin as he explores the country, its people, and its culture. The series features six episodes, each of which focuses on a different aspect of North Korean life. In the first episode, Palin arrives in the capital city of Pyongyang and offers viewers a glimpse into the city's immaculately maintained architecture and the sheer scale of its monuments to the country's leaders. Throughout the series, Palin meets with a range of North Korean citizens, from ordinary workers to government officials. Despite the oppressive nature of the regime, Palin manages to gain rare access to some of the country's key figures, including the head of the country's nuclear program. The series offers a fascinating look at North Korean culture and the way in which it is shaped by the Communist regime. Palin travels to remote parts of the country, experiencing life in rural areas as well as in the capital. He visits schools, hospitals, and even a water park, all of which give him a sense of what life is like for North Koreans. Palin also visits the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the heavily guarded border that separates North and South Korea, and meets with some of the soldiers stationed there. The tension and hostility that hangs over the DMZ is palpable, and Palin's visit there underscores the geopolitical realities that North Korea faces, both internally and externally. Despite the strict controls placed on his movements and interactions, Palin is able to gain a degree of empathy for the North Korean people, many of whom he notes are just trying to make the best of the difficult circumstances they find themselves in. At the same time, he is also keenly aware of the regime's darker side and the way in which it suppresses dissent and exerts total control over its citizens. Throughout the series, Palin's wit and charm shine through, and he brings a much-needed levity to what is often a somber subject matter. His interactions with North Koreans are respectful and curious, and he manages to convey a deep sense of humanity despite the challenges he faces in navigating the country's strict controls. Overall, Michael Palin in North Korea is a fascinating and insightful series that sheds light on a country that is often mischaracterized and misunderstood. Through Palin's courageous and engaging journey, viewers are able to gain a greater understanding of the complex forces that underlie North Korean culture and politics, and the challenges and opportunities that the country faces as it looks toward the future.