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Beyond Utopia

1h 55m Documentary 2023

Beyond Utopia follows various individuals as they attempt to flee North Korea, a land they grew up believing was a paradise.

At the film’s core are a mother desperate to reunite with the child she was forced to leave behind; a family of five, including small children and an elderly grandmother, embarking on a treacherous journey into the hostile mountains beyond their border; and a man on a mission to help these desperate souls. Leaving their homeland is fraught with danger — severe punishment if caught and possibly even execution — as well as potential exploitation by unscrupulous brokers. Gripping, visceral, and urgent, Madeleine Gavin’s film embeds the viewer with these family members as they attempt their perilous escape, palpably conveying life-or-death stakes. The result is a singular, illuminating, and unforgettable experience.


Madeleine Gavin


English, Korean



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