Jamie Barrow has set records as Britain’s fastest snowboarder. But his obsession with speed only came after a serious accident in 2013 that left his doctors telling Barrow that his snowboarding competition days were over. Instead, Barrow focused on setting speed records and using his snowboarding talents to help further the causes of charities he cares about as well as giving motivating speeches to schools and business organizations.
So when filmmaker Jackson Kingsley approached Barrow about snowboarding in the reclusive country of North Korea, it is no wonder the snow sportsman felt the excitement to be a part of something unique and hopefully, educational.
The film follows the team as they are guided through the North Korean capitol of Pyongyang before heading off to the virtually empty slopes of Masikryong ski resort. It is a fascinating look inside the country, although, it’s pretty well understood that any footage and audio captured inside the country is vetted thoroughly by North Korean government authorities. The country is also known for taking journalists and film crews on very well organized trips, where even the roles of people living their everyday lives are set up for the cameras.
Barrow is heard exclaiming how he cannot believe how empty the more difficult slopes are, but us viewers are left to wonder whether there would even be anyone on that mountain if the film crew wasn’t there.