Crossing the Line (2006 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Crossing the Line
Crossing the line region 1 dvd 2006-07.jpg
Region 1 DVD
Directed byDaniel Gordon
Nicholas Bonner
Produced byDaniel Gordon
Written byDaniel Gordon
Music byHeather Fenoughty
CinematographyNick Bennet
Edited byPeter Haddon
Release date
  • 16 October 2006 (2006-10-16) (Pusan International Film Festival)
  • 10 August 2007 (2007-08-10) (USA)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$9,258 (USA)

Crossing the Line (Korean: 푸른 눈의 평양시민, A Blue-Eyed Pyongyang Citizen in North Korea) is a 2006 British documentary film by Daniel Gordon and Nicholas Bonner.


The film is about a former U.S. Army soldier, James J. Dresnok, who defected to North Korea on 15 August 1962. It was directed and produced by British filmmakers Daniel Gordon and Nicholas Bonner, and was shown at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Crossing the Line, which was narrated by actor Christian Slater, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the festival.


It was first screened in 2007 on the BBC; the film centred on Dresnok's history, highlighting his unhappiness in America, and particularly his desertion from the United States Army in 1962 to the DPRK. It showed Dresnok in present-day in Pyongyang (where he lived to his death), 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.[1]

Dresnok is shown with fellow defectors, including Charles Robert Jenkins, who returned to Japan to be with his wife, Hitomi Soga (a victim of kidnapping by the North Koreans), while filming was taking place. Dresnok seemed hurt by Jenkins' allegations of physical abuse by Dresnok and the North Korean regime and angrily denied them.

Towards the end of Crossing the Line, a North Korean doctor discloses to the BBC that Dresnok is in failing health, mainly due to heavy drinking and smoking.[2][3][4]



The movie had mostly positive reception.[5][6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'Crossing' Reveals Untold N. Korea Story, The Korea Times, 23 August 2007
  2. ^ Last US defector in North Korea, BBC, 23 January 2007
  3. ^ Robert Willoughby The Bradt Travel Guide: North Korea 2008, page 39 "In a further twist, they found film fame with roles in DPRK films vilifying the US, with Dresnok typecast as an evil American and making firm friends with several North Korean film stars who appear in Crossing the Line and discussed the ..."
  4. ^ Justin Corfield, Historical Dictionary of Pyongyang 2013, page 43 "After Doina died of lung cancer, Dresnok married the daughter of a Togolese diplomat and a North Korean woman, and had a son. Teaching English at Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies, he was the subject of the film Crossing the Line ..."
  5. ^ The New York Times, 10 August 2007
  6. ^ The Los Angeles Times, 12 October 2007
  7. ^ Slant Magazine
  8. ^ "Crossing the Line". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 August 2017.

External links[edit]