Crossing The Line Analysis

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The documentary Crossing the Line, encompasses the life of James Joseph Dresnok, an American who defected to North Korea in 1962 and has made the totalitarian state his home. His dreadful childhood and the hardships he faced in life seem to be the driving factor in his decision to defect to North Korea. Director Daniel Gordon takes a neutral stand on Dresnok’s decision and this enables Dresnok to share his view of North Korea. Although this documentary does not provide a clear cut understanding of the unitary nation, as Dresnok has a very biased view of it, it is enough to conjure up prevalent political themes that are present in this documentary. Totalitarianism and realism, propaganda, and corruption, are significant political themes depicted It provides citizens with misleading and biased views in the hopes to gain strong patriotism from it’s people. Joe Dresnok’s entire life is based upon propaganda; his survival, his lifestyle, and everything he has, is due to the mere fact that the DPRK used him as a propaganda tool to achieve their goal of notifying their citizens of the U.S as being a corrupt and evil nation. All the defectors are portrayed on magazines and newspapers, Dresnok is used to lure American soldiers, and defectors are also utilized as American villains in north Korean films. Propaganda is a vital factor for the North Korean government, as being a totalitarian state, it is the only way to keep their people engaged and obedient. As mentioned earlier, Dresnok’s life is stable in a nation where millions of people are malnourished and mistreated; his sons attend the most prestigious colleges and their life is pretty secure comparing to other Korean citizens. An interview with Dresnok’s two sons Ted and James posted on the Washington Post proves that they themselves are glorifying propaganda by agreeing to do these interviews in the first place and appearing on Korean shows as villains, just like their father had done. Anna Fifield states, “…But his sons were apparently trotted out to extol the glories of the “socialist paradise” into which they were born. Each In my opinion this documentary does not adequately provide much historical and factual information about a nation, instead it seems to be a brain-washed narrative of a man who was beaten down by life and finally feels superior. His ignorance and comfortable lifestyle disables him to comprehend the real matter at hand, the hardships the citizens face, and a tyrannical rule in the

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