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Inside the Crazy History of North Korea’s Kim Dynasty: New at Reason

National Geographic documentary shows both the nuttiness and the ruthlessness.

Kim Jong UnState Department/ZUMA Press/NewscomTelevision critic Glenn Garvin sits down with three generations of North Korea's nutty Kims as they're examined by National Geographic's Inside North Korea's Dynasty:

The Kim storyline, sometimes insanely funny and sometimes just plain insane, makes Inside North Korea's Dynasty irresistible. Its analysis is sometimes lightweight, its reporting sometimes sketchy. It is certainly not the best documentary ever made about North Korea. But when gazing in dumbfounded awe at its footage of Kim 3's miniskirted all-girl rock band prancing around on stage like a collection of nuclear-tipped Nancy Sinatras while a film of nuclear holocaust plays in the background ... well, who cares?

Assembling an impressive library of archival clips to match its interviews with everybody from Kim 3's personal chef to one of Kim 2's assassins (she blew a South Korean airliner out of the sky; death toll, 115), Inside follows the two-thirds-of-a-century-and-counting course of what it calls "the world's first communist hereditary monarchy." (Those pikers, the Castro brothers, were nearly a decade later in getting started.)

Photo Credit: State Department/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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