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Juche Strong


Juche Strong aims to explain how one of the world's most closed and totalitarian societies continues to exist, despite decades of economic mismanagement and authoritarian repression. Directed by MPI fellow Rob Montz, the film argues that North Korea's founding philosophy of "Juche" (self-reliance) encourages its people to reject foreign influence and build their own nation around traditional Korean values. The film explores how the Kim dynasty has used propaganda to carefully manipulate North Koreans' traditional allegiance to family and identity to promote a collectivist doctrine. The West needs to know what makes North Korea tick. Juche Strong answers widespread misconceptions about North Korea and offers key insights into the resilience and longevity of its pervasive ideology.

Official Film Website

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“Mr Montz doesn't underestimate the strangeness of North Korea, but the experience of filming in Pyongyang led him to a different reflection. If juche and the cult of the Kims has 'worked' as an ideology, that may be because it appeals to universal human needs in the way other religions do.”—The Economist


Rob Montz
Executive Producers
Kmele Foster
Dan Hayes
Rob Pfaltzgraff
Millicent Bain
William Beutler
Rocky Montz
Karen Shoupe
Megan Meier
Donna Shoupe
Madison Kitchens
Bruce Cumings
David Kang
Sandra Fahy
Young Ae-Ma
Victor Cha
Stephan Haggard
Suk-Young Kim
Jonathan Haidt
B.R. Myers
Original Music
Dan Teicher
Sarah Kim
Brian Balk
Na Young Lee
Additional Camera
Tim Sessler
Total Running Time
18 minutes

Get Involved

Many films are available for private screenings. For more information, email info@thempi.org.


  • 11.19.13MPI fellow Rob Montz screens his documentary, Juche Strong, at Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ. The screening takes place at the Cowan Auditorium at 7pm and is followed by Q/A. Get more information here.
  • 10.25.13MPI fellow Rob Montz screens his documentary, Juche Strong, at the North Korean Human Rights Film Festival. Time and location TBA. Get more information at NKHRFF.com.
  • 10.19.13MPI fellow Rob Montz screens his documentary, Juche Strong, at the United Nations Film Festival. Get more information at here.
  • 10.10.13MPI fellow Rob Montz screens his documentary, Juche Strong, at Columbia University in New York City. Get more information here.
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