Who could have foreseen that an American orchestra would be performing in North Korea? Who would have believed that music is
capable of bringing people together who are supposed to be bitter enemies? Can music play a role in the political game?
The film Americans in Pyongyang accompanies members of the New York Philharmonic on its historic trip to North Korea´s capital, Pyongyang. This trip was by no means a simple one. Many concerns and doubts arose just before departing for the most inaccessible country in the world – a country that consistently violates human rights and that has been categorized by George W. Bush as a key member in the “axis of evil“. The documentary by Ayelet Heller is not a political manifesto but a story about people who are brought a little closer to each other by virtue of music. Americans in Pyongyang shows, almost non-verbally, that music
knows no borders and that it can reach and melt hearts and unite people. The 48-hour trip was memorable to all involved: Korean and American musicians meet on stage for the first time, performing together with technical brilliance, hardly speaking,
just exchanging quick glances and communicating with body language. One of the musicians said: “Something profound has happened between two peoples. It was astounding.“