Crossing the Line: The Story of Comrade Joe
Director: Daniel Gordon
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 31 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: January 8, 2008
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Kino Video
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- (unspecified) - English, Korean
- Subtitles - English - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Interviews: Daniel Gordon - Director
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Directed by||Daniel Gordon|
|Narrated by||Christian Slater|
|Composition by||Craig Armstrong, Heather Fenoughty & Sister Bliss|
|Produced by||Daniel Gordon|
|Director of Photography:||Nick Bennett|
Description by OLDIES.com:
Crossing the Line is the story of James Joseph Dresnok, a US Army private who in 1962 stunned the world by walking across the violently contested DMZ that cuts Korea in two and defecting to the communist North. Taking full advantage of access granted by the government of North Korea, the axis of evil's mysterious and feared rogue state, director Daniel Gordon combines historical footage with contemporary interviews to both uncover the Kim-Jong Il regime and end 44 years of secrecy and rumor by allowing Dresnok to tell his own story.
In 1962, James Joseph Dresnok, a soldier in the U.S. Army, crossed over the heavily guarded line of demarcation and defected to the communist country of North Korea. Soon there was a group of four American military defectors in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, becoming part of Kim Il-Sung's and, later, Kim Il-Jong's propaganda machine. After more than 40 years, Dresnok tells his story for the first time to filmmaker Daniel Gordon (THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES) in CROSSING THE LINE, a fascinating look at a little-known corner of the Cold War. Dresnok had a difficult upbringing, including living in foster homes and an orphanage. The instability in his personal life impelled him to join the army, which stationed him in South Korea. But because of his lifelong mistrust of authority, he refused to follow direct orders and was facing a potential court-martial when he sneaked into North Korea, a treasonous move that had even more impact because it came at the height of the Cold War. There, he was joined by Larry Allen Abshier, Jerry Wayne Parrish, and Charles Robert Jenkins, who all went on to star in a series of propaganda films called NAMELESS HEROES, directed by Kim Il-Jong, showing the Americans to be evil predators. Gordon, while in North Korea making STATE OF MIND, tracked down the two surviving defectors, Dresnok and Jenkins, who each had a somewhat different tale to tell. The film focuses on Dresnok's version, in which the man known as Comrade Joe sings the praises of the Great Leader and his deep love of North Korea, never intending to return to the United States. Through archival footage, photographs, and interviews with friends, family, historians, and journalists, Gordon carves out Dresnok's complicated, confusing, compelling, and sometimes questionable life story.
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