North Korea’s Arirang Festival is a two-month celebration of DPRK founder Kim Il-sung’s birthday. Not a lot of foreigners have seen (or heard of) it. And yet it’s one of the world’s great spectacles.
Take this photo series, by American expat Sam Gellman, who traveled to Pyongyang last month and saw tens of thousands of North Koreans put on a show that made the Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremonies look tame in comparison. The photographs are beautiful to look at and terrible to think about—a display Leni Riefenstahl would have appreciated had she lived to see it. And, of course, Kim Il-sung would have approved.
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