Manse for Chollywood!
'A Family Basketball
Team' (1998)

Analysis, synopsis, and video link to a North Korean sports film about basketball.


This is a solid piece of film making with a great soundtrack and humorous moments that shows the viewer the efforts of the protagonist Mr. Yun to form his countryside-based family into a serious sporting unit while integrating their latest 'signing' into the team/family. The film builds up to a terrific climax which takes place at the finals in Pyongyang where his daughter-in-law shoots the last ball in the last second to win the competition. A very accessible film suitable for viewers of all ages. Basketball is a sport with very broad popularity in North Korea. The game is played at schools, factories, farms, and offices in free time with both mixed and unisex teams in friendly competition. In fact the tallest man ever to play the game professionally was a North Korean named Ri Myung Hun who played in the Canadian Basketball Association and was refused a work permit by the US State Department when he attempted to appear in the NBA.

From a promotional brochure published by Korea Film Export & Import Corporation

Yu Sang Gu, the hero of the film, is a genuine educator of our Party who has devoted his all for the development of mass physical culture and sports. One day he meets a girl who is to become his third daughter-in-law. He takes her into his family of sportsmen.

Upholding the Party's intention to make physical culture and sports mass-based and part of daily routine, he gives her training and leads her sincerely. In the end he trains her into an amateur athlete who is not very much inferior to a professional player. Yun Sang Gu trains his third son-in-law and his third daughter-in- law, who were once not interested in sports at all, into excellent players and coaches. He organises a basketball team with his family members and sends them to the provincial match. They take the first place, fully displaying the vitality of our Party's policy of putting physical culture and sports on a mass basis.

1998, 80 mins

'Manse for Chollywood' is Koryo Tours' film blog.

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