Film Screening “Crossing” and Q&A with Kim Kyumin
On Friday, March 28, NKSC hosted a movie screening of the film, “Crossing,” with a special Q&A session with the co-director, Mr. Kim Gyu Min. This film is considered one of the best depicting life in North Korea during the 1990s. The movie revolves around the story of a North Korean man and his son. Actor Cha In Pyo stars as the North Korean coal miner who illegally crossed into China to get medicine for his wife. His wife passed away soon after crossed the border, and he was separated from his 11-year old son, played by Shin Myeong Chul.
The story shares the hardship of North Korean refugees in the late 1990s with famine striking the country, which killed an estimated 1 million people during the ‘March of Suffering.’ The North Koreans couldn’t cross into South Korea directly because of landmines and a heavy military presence at the border. These defectors had to cross into China and make a detour to South Korea through third-party countries. The film depicts the confusion, struggle, and agony of the journey, and the toll it takes on one family. The Chinese government, an ally of the North Korean regime, continues to not recognize defectors as refugees and even now, sends them back to North Korea to face years of manual labor, torture, and even death.
The first question Mr. Kim asked the audience was, “What did you think of the movie?” The audience all agreed and expressed that the film was deeply moving and increased their awareness and passion for the North Korean human rights movement. Mr. Kim answered many questions regarding the location of the filming, how he got into the line of film directing being a North Korean defector himself, how the film crew and actors were changed by the filming of the movie, how they cast the actors and actresses, and any words of encouragement for young North Korean defectors living outside of North Korea today. It was an eye-opening evening spent with the co-director, and many in the audience left motivated to take more interest in the North Korean human rights issue as well as spread awareness by talking about the issue with friends, family, and coworkers.