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North Korea: Beyond the DMZ
J.T. Takagi & Hye Jung Park
Edited by Dena Mermelstein
60 minutes
North Korea/US
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North Korea: Beyond the DMZ

While this tiny state on the divided Korean peninsula is continually demonized in the U.S., few have any first hand knowledge of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. What is it like on the other side of the 38th parallel? How do Koreans in the North view this past decade with the fall of Soviet communism, natural disasters that brought famine and power shortages, and a continued, dangerously hostile relationship with the U.S.? What are the concerns of the Korean American community--many of whom have family in the north? This documentary follows a young Korean American woman to see her relatives, and through unique footage of life in the D.P.R.K. and interviews with ordinary people and scholars, opens a window into this nation and its people. Though released in 2003, the living conditions in the D.P.R.K. and its relationship with the U.S. has barely changed, so the film remains extremely relevant.
With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting), Media Arts Fellowships/Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media/The Funding Exchange
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"Brisk, wry and highly enjoyable.... this Third World Newsreel production casts Korea's North-South dynamic in a whole new light." - Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"Paints a humanistic picture of North Korea through a young Korean American's search for long-lost relatives." - Ken Switzer, Village Voice
"The film analyses Korean history from World War II until the present. Using footage from the United States, North Korean capital Pyongyang and environs, combined with TV broadcasts, photographs, interviews and archival footage, this film creates an image of the DPRK that differs from the harsh version usually presented by traditional news sources." - Alisa Givental, Asia Times
"At last a movie has been made by a U.S. film crew about North Korea that makes an effort to understand that country, not just demonize it." - Deirdre Griswold, Workers World

• Council on Foundations Selection, 2005, 2006
• PBS Select, 2005
• World Premiere, Documentary Fortnight, MoMA, 2003

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