Crossing the Line - a rare portfolio of investigative documentaries, where engaged filmmakers look at what a certain number of North Korean defectors have experienced to escape their country. At the risk of their lives and those left behind.
Korea, orphan of the Cold War, remains even in 2011 a divided country. In 1953, at the end of the Korean War, the country was cut in two opposing parts with a No Man’s Land in the middle, the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). The North, still supported by Beijing, is rumored to suffer from continuous famine and is run as a communist regime with Stalinist overtones. The South, heavily supported by Washington, is ruled as a Western-style democracy where shopping malls have appeared on every corner. This economic wealth may not necessarily make South Koreans happier than their Northern brothers and sisters, yet a growing number of North Koreans risk their lives to get out of what many call the `Hell of the North’.
Crossing Three Borders:
Guided by Pastor Peter Jung, a South Korean activist, nine defectors are gathered in a Southern China village. North Korean defectors are internationally accepted as refugees, yet China does not recognize them as such. So, the plan is to cross into Vietnam because if they are arrested in China, they face repatriation, which in turn leads to imprisonment, or worse. With the help of Pastor Jung, the nine refugees cross successfully by night into Vietnam.
But the South Korean Embassy refuses to accept the defectors. Still in hiding, a search begins for an Embassy that might offer safe harbour and refugee status. There is some hope that the Danish diplomatic mission will offer assistance, but once out in the open, their position known, they are at risk. The penalties threatened by China are not to be taken lightly...