Director – Madeleine Gavin – 2023 – US – Cert. 15 – 115m
North Koreans flee their repressive country over the Chinese border and through several communist countries, where repatriation would mean imprisonment, torture and possibly death – heartstopping documentary is out in UK cinemas on Friday, October 27th
Whether you’re coming to the subject of North Korea cold or whether you already know a little about the subject from the documentary Camp 14: Total Control Zone (Marc Weise, 2012), the animated feature True North (Eiji Han Shimizu, 2020) or Korean War movies like Operation Chromite (John H. Lee, 2016) or Nambugan: North Korean Partisan In South Korea (Chung Ji-Young, 1990), this contemporary take on the North Korean refugee experience throws much fresh light on the subject.
To augment its twin central narratives – two entirely separate stories of North Koreans attempting to escape their country – director Gavin helpfully breaks them up with an intermittent primer on North Korea. Much of this comes from Hyeonseo Lee, who fled the country over 20 years ago and has subsequently talked about it in TED and other public speaking forums. Lee was the producer’s original intended subject for the film, which changed considerably as director Gavin began researching the subject.… Read the rest