Crossing the Line (2006)

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A British documentary about US Army defector James Dresnok currently living in North Korea after having defected during the 60s.



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Credited cast:
Bruce Cumings ...
James Dresnok ...
Kim Il-Sung ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Il Sung Kim)
Charles Robert Jenkins ...
Siham Shrieteh ...
Herself (Parrish's wife)
Narrator (voice)


A British documentary about US Army defector James Dresnok currently living in North Korea after having defected during the 60s.

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Release Date:

10 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Przekroczyc granice  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,605 (USA) (10 August 2007)


$8,733 (USA) (19 October 2007)

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Did You Know?


[Dresnok and a friend converse while fishing]
Fisherman: If you only have sons, they must get into a lot of mischief.
James Dresnok: Oh, don't even talk about it. They're like cats and dogs!
[they laugh]
Fisherman: Where does the twenty-two year old go?
James Dresnok: The Foreign Studies Institute.
Fisherman: What language is he learning?
James Dresnok: English.
Fisherman: [pause] You don't seem to enjoy fishing.
James Dresnok: Oh, well... I don't know. If not... this is just to pass the time.
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User Reviews

Harrowing Portrait
14 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In my experience, the best bio-pics are those in which I identify, or at the very least, sympathize with the subject of the film. CROSSING THE LINE is the very opposite of this. James Dresnok is a most reprehensible character. His decision to defect has little or nothing to do with the large moral defects in his character. He comes across as a thug and a bully. I suppose one could overlook some of this due to his unfortunate background, however many have had personal histories such as this, and not sunk to his tragic fate. The excessive smoking and drinking almost seem like a personal vendetta by his 'better' self against the 'evil' that is in him. He is really in the process of self-destruction, and rightly so. In spite of this, however, I think that CROSSING THE LINE is a fine film. After viewing the movie, I could not empathize with Dresnok, or even make a case as to why he took the path that he did. But, Daniel Gordon did a superior job illuminating this disreputable individual. We are allowed to see this man 'warts and all', and the film-maker goes out of his way to be evenhanded. It would have been so easy, and probably tempting, to just cast Dresnok as a two-bit villain.

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