Thousands of choreographed dancers, trucks full of grinning men with rocket launchers — it could only mean one thing — a birthday party.

KIM IL-SUNG’s beaming, cherubic face is everywhere. 18 years after his death, the image of his croaking-toad jowls and chicklet-white teeth still appears to hold sway over much of the North Korean population.

Kim Il-sung portrait

Documentary filmmaker, Patrick Wallner, who visited Pyongyang during the ‘madness’ of the birthday celebration and shot this video, had this to say:

Traveling to the Hermit Kingdom is already bizarre enough, but when we heard that North Korea would be celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Great Leader & eternal president, Kim Il-sung, there was no way to let such an epic birthday party slip through our hands.

Laurence Keefe, Kirill Korobkov and I flew over to Pyongyang for two days to witness the madness. While skateboarding within the DPRK was our main intention, it was overshadowed by the celebrations & the ‘no sliding’ anywhere rule.