"....'a counter history in which Trotsky evades Stalin’s reach by building an underground bunker and triumphs over his enemies. Though Encounters elicited laughter with its hyperbolic Communist rhetoric and lo-fi video effects, it also prompts a serious engagement with its central premise: that to imagine a better life for ourselves means, in part, imagining a different history" —Genevieve Yu
"....'The Juche Idea', by American experimental filmmaker Jim Finn, uses the theories of Kim Jong-il to satirize the process of art making under both socialist and capitalist systems... Steeped in the obsolete language of revolutionary art, Mr. Finn's meticulous, deadpan mockumentaries often play like unearthed artifacts from an alternate universe..."
#8 The Juche Idea
"...Something other than ironic, the years prize whatzit is steeped in the pathos of political kitsch as well as the "Juche"—North Korea's ideology of self reliance—that DIY filmmaking requires." (December 2010)
"Jim Finn, maker of “artist films” (his own phrase, only partly ironic), will confound most moviegoers with “The Juche Idea,” his latest short-feature-length riff on radical-utopian notions of cinema. Not quite fiction but definitely not a documentary, it’s a bit like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch devoted to the film theories of North Korea’s Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il...."
"…Jim Finn's La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo (2007) must be considered one of the most provocative films of the decade. By questioning dogma that preaches to the converted, the film induces a crisis in the viewer who is in search of comfort and speedy comprehension. Finn seeks to retrace the challenging paths which political films once traveled but which have now become overcrowded freeways. The modernity of La Trinchera lies in how Finn stays away from the tried and true without resorting to forms from ten, twenty or even thirty years ago, ones that are often presented as novel but in practice amounts to amnesia. Finn draws on these forms from the past but twists them around…" (from the essay by Sergio Wolf) pdf link here
"The evidence that current filmmaking is brimming with original, standard-breaking creations has to include the work of Jim Finn, whose brilliant "The Juche Idea"... effectively completes a trilogy of ultra-compact features that boldly upturn notions of documentary and fiction, propaganda thought, reality and restaging, and even what an "experimental film" actually is. To say that these films open up new possibilities for satire, ideas and language isn't an overstatement."
"Marching to the sound of his own drummer into the radiant future, Jim Finn is the solitary vanguard of post-Communist Communist cinema. Each of this enigmatic artist’s three low-budget features has been a fastidious, jerry-built re-creation of an ideological fantasyland..."
"...A crypto-retro-Marxist faux-documentation of one day in a Peruvian women's prison populated by Shining Path Maoists, Trinchera has the flattened feel and relentless tempo of a long-lost artifact of low-tech propaganda... its compulsive ambition only furthers its enigmas."
"...a fertile cinematographic intervention, with its own energy and mystery that forms part of a novel genre, a kind of Brechtian theatre piece and essay film, but without commentary or reflections from director..."
"A delightfully tongue-in-cheek homage to a fictional East German space project, Jim Finn's "Interkosmos" uses recreated newsreels combined with musical interludes to resurrect the '70s in all its Brezhnev-era glory..."