Crossing the Line
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In 1962, a U.S. soldier sent to guard the peace in South Korea deserted his unit, walked across the most heavily fortified area on earth and defected to the Cold War enemy, the communist state of North Korea. He then simply disappeared from the face of the known world. He became a coveted star of the North Korean propaganda machine, and found fame acting in films, typecast as an evil American. He uses Korean as his daily language. He has three sons from two wives. He has now lived in North Korea twice as long as he has in America. At one time, there were four Americans living in North Korea.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A tale of alienation and adaptation both miraculous and strange, but also abduction both psychological and physical."
‑ , Los Angeles Times
"Fascinating."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Bizarrely fascinating documentary."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Completely intriguing."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"Profile of the last American GI defector in North Korea. Fascinating!"
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Crossing the Line, like its subject, remains a fascinating and frustrating enigma -- a declassified government report still marred by redacted passages."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"You'll be untangling Dresnok's knotty reality long after you leave the theater."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"There are no absolute answers to these questions, but like a brain-tickling puzzle, Crossing the Line keeps us on our toes and digging for more information."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"Not exactly compelling stuff, especially if you caught the recent 60 Minutes segment about this traitor which covered substantially the same ground."
‑ Kam Williams, EURWeb
"An engrossing look at a rarity, the only four Americans who ever defected to North Korea, with a warm look at the first, James Joseph Dresnok."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"Crossing The Line lacks the force and power of a strong point of view, but like Gordon's other work about North Korea, it succeeds in revealing what it means for individuals to give themselves over to a collective."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"[The] compelling story and the plentiful high-definition video images of North Korean daily life prove so fascinating that Crossing the Line is riveting."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
"Director Daniel Gordon hits a goldmine."
‑ Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com
"A scary journey into the belly of the beast but a sketchy psychological portrait."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"One commendable but far too brief section of the documentary, presents through horrific images and testimony, the gruesome atrocities visited upon the DPRK civilians which exceeded even the US mass carnage against the Vietnamese in that invasion."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Web Radio
More reviews for Crossing the Line on Rotten Tomatoes

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