North Korea - Crossing the line

Updated: 9 April, 2018 seen 1,205

The film is about a former U.S. Army soldier, James J. Dresnok, who defected to North Korea on August 15, 1962.

The film was directed and produced by British filmmakers Daniel Gordon and Nicholas Bonner, and was shown at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The film, which was narrated by actor Christian Slater, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the festival. The film was first screened in 2007 on the BBC. The film centred around Dresnok's history, highlighting his unhappiness in America, and particularly his desertion from the United States Army in 1962 to the DPRK.

It also showed Dresnok in the present day in Pyongyang (where he now lives), interacting with his North Korean family and friends. Dresnok spoke exclusively to the filmmakers about his childhood, his desertion, his life in a country completely foreign and quite hostile to his own, his fellow defectors, and his wife and children. Dresnok is also shown with fellow defectors, including Charles Robert Jenkins, who returned to Japan to be with his wife, Hitomi Soga (a victim of kidnap by the North Koreans), while filming was taking place. Dresnok felt hurt by Jenkins' allegations of physical abuse by Dresnok and the North Korean regime and angrily denied them. Towards the end of the film, a North Korean doctor discloses to the BBC that Dresnok is in failing health, mainly due to heavy drinking and smoking.

In April 2017, a Western news organization that focuses on North Korea reported that Dresnok had died the previous year.In August 2017, Dresnok's sons confirmed that he had died of a stroke in November 2016