I was invited to attend a movie viewing of “Crossing” at the North Korean Strategy Center in Seoul.
The movie depicts a story of a North Korean family where the father unintentionally defects to South Korea while he was in China acquiring medicine for his sick wife.
The wife ultimately passes away without the proper medication she needed, leaving the son, the only child in the family to fend for himself. Meanwhile the father in South Korea hires a broker to assist his son to defect through China and Mongolia. Apparently, this is a common way for North Korean to defect because if a North Korean citizen is caught in China without proper authorization, the citizen is repatriated.
THE Q & A SESSION
What was unique was about this moving viewing was that there was a Q & A session afterwards with the co-director, Kim Kuyu-Min a North Korean defector.
Some things that stood out:
Despite the numerous of North Korean Defectors living in South Korea, there’s very little involvement from North Korean Defectors on the efforts to help raise awareness with the conditions in North Korea. The co-director was only convinced to help co-direct this movie by the lead director of the movie.
The actors and the majority of the support and staff members that helped make the movie were not active participants in raising awareness of inhumane conditions in North Korea. It was only after making the movie that their thoughts on the topic have changed. There was no specific numbers given or exactly how people became actively involved. I can understand why they’re views have changed after making the movie. After watching it myself, there are definitely sad moments that are unspeakable if the film remotely portrays the conditions in North Korea.
A BOOK TO SUPPLEMENT THE MOVIE
My cousin’s friend gave each of us a copy of “The Aquariums of Pyongyang” by Kang Chol-Hwan. From my understanding, the author started an NGO in Seoul working an uphill battle towards the reunification process.
I’m a bit fascinated by North Korea every since I met Stefan at Rapid Travel Chai about his visit to North Korea. I admire his approach to travel and the places he’s been. You can read more about his North Korea visit here
and check out his pictures here even pictures from the DMZ from the North.
I realize it’s a debatable topic on whether to visit North Korea since all the money collected from tourism goes to the State and to simply put it, the State does not play nicely.