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’.
23-year old Youngsoon is a North Korean girl now living in the south. In 2007, she and her sister Mihee lived in hiding in China. While Youngsoon managed to escape to South Korea, her sister was arrested by the Chinese authorities and repatriated to North Korea.
Ever since, Youngsoon has been determined to arrange her sister’s escape. She hires a broker who enters North Korea: but the news he brings back is devastating: Mihee is being held in a high security political prison camp under charges of treason. Youngsoon’s attempt to organize the escape of her father also fails. She is left with little hope and is yet to learn how to cope with these uncertainties. Maybe she’ll find a solution in far away New Zealand…?