Facets Cinémathèque

Archives +

November 6–11, 2017

Chicago Premiere

Liberation Day

Buy tickets
Film still: Liberation Day
"This bizarre, one-off culture clash is chronicled with droll, highly entertaining bemusement...but it succeeds as more than a diverting novelty, packed as it is with pointed observations on diplomacy and censorship in a country that's still a mystery to many"
4 stars "For all the absurdity, for all the questionable semi-satire, Laibach actually made contact with North Korea and caused a crack in the wall"
  —The Guardian

The ex-Yugoslavian cult band Laibach has been raising controversy ever since its foundation over 35 years ago. This is not only because of its music, which includes infamous covers such as Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil, Opus' Live Is Life and Queen's One Vision, but also due to the striking visual language the band employs. Laibach incorporates elements from military and industrial films, and these, together with their clothing, give rise to both admiration and disgust. The band has even been accused of associations with Nazism, but ironically enough, Laibach was invited to play in Pyongyang, North Korea as a celebration of the country's Liberation Day.

The film follows the members of the band, their entourage, facilitated by the Norwegian provocateur and North Korea expert Morten Traavik, who has directed the film about the band's journey to this hermetically sealed country. The preparations are hampered by a lack of technical facilities, cultural differences and constant interference from the censors. Meanwhile, international tensions are rising as propaganda loudspeakers are installed along the border with South Korea, as they prepare to perform in front of an audience who has never seen a live rock act.

"North Korea seems like a terrifying place to visit, but if it is really true that that guy [Laibach's lead singer] is going to be singing The Sound of Music, I kind of want to go there!"—John Oliver, Last Week Tonight.

Directed by Morten Traavik and Ugis Olte, Norway/Latvia, 2016, 100 mins. In English and Korean with English subtitles.


  • Mon., Nov. 6 at 7:30 pm
  • Tues.–Thurs., Nov. 7–9 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Nov. 11 at 1 & 3 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation