7.8/10
282
4 user 4 critic

Seoul Train (2004)

The gripping documentary exposé into the life and death of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland and China
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With its riveting footage of a secretive "underground railroad," SEOUL TRAIN is the gripping documentary exposé into the life and death of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland and China. SEOUL TRAIN also delves into the complex geopolitics behind this growing and potentially explosive humanitarian crisis. By combining vérité footage, personal stories and interviews with experts and government officials, SEOUL TRAIN depicts the flouting of international laws by major countries, the inaction and bureaucracy of the United Nations, and the heroics of activists that put themselves in harm's way to save the refugees. Written by Anonymous

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12 November 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pociag do Seulu  »

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Heart-breaking
20 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

This is an incredibly sad and gut-wrenching documentary about refugees who have fled North Korea into China seeking eventual entry into South Korea or even to live in the less repressive dictatorship of China. The reason, by the way, that they don't go directly from North Korea to the South is that the Demilitarized Zone separates them and is bristling with mines and soldiers waiting to kill anyone who attempts.

The film interviews several who run an underground railroad of sorts that tries to smuggle these refugees into friendlier Mongolia or into the Japanese consulate. You also get to meet several of the families and your hearts go out to them. Sadly, almost every one of the ones you see are eventually caught and many are probably dead today since the Chinese policy is to repatriate them even if it means death--and even if this violates UN mandates that the Chinese government have agreed to follow! The callousness and indifference of the Chinese is shocking, though not surprising in light of Darfur and Tibet.

This is an exceptional but tough to watch film. It will very likely have you in tears watching these sad people who only want to be treated like valued human beings.

By the way, I also recommend "National Geographic Explorer: Inside North Korea" as it actually goes into the gulag-like North Korea and allows one of the only chances the West has to see what it's like to live within this nation. Both films are must-sees for any civilized and caring person.


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