About the Book

The Ministry of Truth

The Ministry of Truth

Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea
October 2007
Trade Paperback · 132 Pages
$22.95 U.S. · $27.50 CAN
ISBN 9781932595277
Feral House


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The few dozen tourists—and a few journalists—who come annually to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang are accompanied by guides and are only allowed to see what the regime blinders for their viewing. For the visitors, actors often represent pedestrians, and the consumer goods seen in stores are unavailable to the public at large. The statistics heaped upon the visitors are dubious at best.

Kim Jong Il's People's Republic of North Korea is a gigantic installation, a simulation, a play. Eva Munz, Christian Kracht, and Lukas Nikol traveled to this land to take pictures of a country from which there are no pictures. What they show in The Ministry of Truth is a window view of the gigantic 3-D production of Kim Jong Il, who writes the nation's statistics and authors its film script. Because no accurate view is available of this total installation, the authors make the only one possible: They comment on their photos with quotations from a didactic book on the art of film written by the dictator—who not only collects wine and Mazda RX-7 sports cars, but also has an enormous film library.

Christian Kracht is a celebrated journalist and author and the editor of the German cultural magazine Der Freund. The photographs of Eva Munz and Lukas Nikol have had numerous international exhibitions.

About the Authors

Christian Kracht is said to be one of the best-known writers and journalists of his generation. He has written nine books and many magazine articles translated into a dozen languages. He is also the editor of the German magazine, "Der Freund," and the son of the owner of Springer-Verlag, the huge German publishing concern. Filmmaker, photographer, writer, Eva Munz traveled to North Korea with co-authors Christian Kracht and Lukas Nikol. Lukas Nikol is a noted German photographer who photographed the ghostly and intensely choreographed surroundings of North Korea.