DVD Casting About (DVD 1143773),
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Casting About

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • 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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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5392

  • Critic Reviews
    "[A] solid documentary about how art is made....It is also an unnerving inquiry into power relationships..."
    New York Times

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