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„Gold for Kim - A life for North Korea's leader“ to be distributed worldwide by ZDF Enterprises

A documentary about sports in the country of Kim Jong-un

Mainz, 20th June 2018

ZDF Enterprises will be handling the worldwide distribution of the documentary "Gold for Kim - A life for North Korea's leader" (52').

This documentary, which has been produced by the Berlin film production company HANFGARN & UFER and written and directed by Michael Höft for ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, sheds light on a completely new and different aspect of North Korea - sport in the country of Kim Jong-un.
Missile tests, threats of war, human rights abuses – and suddenly signs of a willingness to engage in dialogue. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un is again keeping the world in suspense in 2018.

But what is really going on in this isolated country? How do the people live in a country that is subject to sanctions and total surveillance? Although it is very rare for western journalists to be allowed entry into North Korea, Michael Höft succeeded in gaining access. Perceptions of this enigmatic country are dominated by the same themes: garish propaganda posters, massive military parades, monumental heroic statues, patriotic choirs. However, it is still a country of stark contrasts. Although the country presents images of real-socialist stereotypes, like cryptic messages from a time warp, revamped Pyongyang is an enticing prospect with its futuristic skyline, glittering amusement parks and department stores offering a range of products to rival those of western shrines to consumerism. While the dictatorship rewards its loyal followers and elevates them to the level of a privileged class, the majority of the population lives in quite different conditions: without electricity or heating, often without running water and, above all, under constant surveillance.

The film plays dramatically on the contrast between the viewer's acknowledged expectations and completely new impressions.  On a journey across the country, using the theme of "sport" as its vehicle, the film delves as far as possible into the reality of everyday life behind the official façade and, with the help of personal contributions, captures the thoughts and feelings of the country's aspiring sports stars. In addition to focusing on athletes, the documentary also looks at ordinary people and their everyday life. 

Filming locations include the ski resort and winter sports resort of Masik, Mirim Horse Riding Club, Munsu Water Park, Pyongyang Gymnasium and Changgwang-won Health Complex. The sports of figure skating, ice hockey and football are covered in depth.

Away from the "brave new world" conjured up by state propaganda, the camera team's extraordinary, often secretly filmed, footage successfully conveys the oppressive atmosphere of a country cut off from the outside world and lays bare the extent of the regime's stage management.


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in the year 1993 as a 100 % private subsidiary of ZDF, one of the biggest and most renowned television broadcasters in Europe. On behalf of ZDF, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for worldwide program sales, the implementation of international co-productions, license purchasing for quality programs, marketing online rights and the merchandising of strong ZDF program brands. During the course of the process of development and diversification to date, it has been possible to incorporate a large number of business activities within the television and media industry within the ZDF Enterprises Group. Consequently, today ZDF Enterprises can offer a comprehensive, full-service offer that covers every step in the process of creation and utilisation of successful TV productions, from material development in all genres to production and then on to the marketing of television licenses, merchandising and online rights.

Contact ZDF Enterprises
 Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, 55127 Mainz/Germany, phone +49 6131-9911130, fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:,



Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany


Copyright: ZDF/Ralf Ilgenfritz
Copyright: ZDF/Ralf Ilgenfritz
Copyright: ZDF/Ralf Ilgenfritz