The Defector – Escape from North Korea (2012) – DVD

The film, produced by Fathom Film Group in association with TVO, is by Ann Shin.

The blurb at the Toronto Public Library website for The Defector (2012) reads:

  • Dragon is a human smuggler who leads North Korean defectors across borders for a living. His latest undercover trip with Sook-Ja and Yong-hee takes an unexpected turn when they are left stranded in China, putting their dramatic escape plan into question. Their perilous journey reflects the reality of tens of thousands of North Koreans currently in hiding in China. Filmed undercover by a Korean-Canadian filmmaker, Ann Shin gets intimate access with these three individuals in this POV film and explores universal questions about human rights, smuggling and the pursuit of freedom.

[End of text from Toronto Public Library website]

Additional information from the above-noted Defector website:

About the Interactive Experience

  • The Defector: Escape from North Korea Interactive is a first-person POV interactive web documentary enabling audiences to experience first-hand what it’s like to be a defector. Featuring true-to-life animations recreating the journey, along with real footage and darkly stunning imagery, it explores the bewildering array of decisions and risks defectors must face – and shows how much courage it takes to pursue freedom. Go deep inside North Korea and then try to escape.


The seeking of refuge in life and death circumstances is an archetypal human experience.

We are fortunate that in Canada, and elsewhere, many refugees have found a home, and have found an opportunity to contribute to the life of their adopted new homeland.

Some refuges are turned back, or lose their lives, in their quest for a better life.

We can expect more, not less, mass migrations in the years ahead.

The Spectre of Hope (2012) – DVD

The Spectre of Hope (2012) is a good companion DVD to The Defector (2012).

The Toronto Public Library blurb for Spectre of Hope (2012) reads:

  • Sebastiao Salgado joins John Berger to pore over Salgado’s collection ‘Migrations’. Six years and 43 countries in the making, Migrations contains photographs of people pushed from their homes and traditions to cities and their margins, slums and streets and refugee camps. Sitting at the kitchen table of Berger’s home, their intimate conversation, intercut with photographs from Migrations, combines a discussion of Salgado’s work with a critique of globalization.


An April 7, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “What Are America’s Options on North Korea?: At this point, there are only two ways to reverse its nuclear program, one expert says.”


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