A 17-year-old North Korean boy makes a daring escape from his totalitarian country, and with the help of an American relief agency emigrates to America. [Dir: Adam Sjoberg/ 33 min/ Documentary/ Escape from socialism]
Meet Danny, a courageous teenager from North Korea who escaped across a highly-policed border into China in 2005. North Korean refugees are commonly sent back by Chinese officials—to death or torture, but Danny managed to elude the authorities, and with the assistance of American aid society Liberty in North Korea, eventually reached the safety of the U.S. This touching documentary tells his story.
In the weak North Korean economy, Danny’s family was often near starvation. His mother and grandmother, who together raised him, made every sacrifice to keep him alive, but eventually his mother realized their only hope of survival was for her to escape across an ice-covered river into China and try to return with food. Incredibly, she did so successfully, but on a subsequent trip was not able to return, so young Danny decided to make the leap and followed her example.
In this film you learn something about what it’s like to live in North Korea—the brutality, the Orwellian control of words and thoughts, the starvation, and the maniacal communist leadership. And too you see (not very gruesome) reenactments of what happens to those caught trying to escape, the most likely outcome of any attempt.
This is a professional production, with at times an artistic touch. The first-person story-telling makes you feel you are right there with Danny as he faces and survives one challenge after the next. Stories of escape from socialism almost never get told; all the more reason to watch this compelling short film. It is particularly recommended for teens.