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Seoul Train; Vol. 3



 
Volume 3

The film examines how the international community is dealing with this humanitarian crisis. Refugee experts and activists claim the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is making only feeble attempts to stop China from violating international law by sending hundreds of refugees back to North Korea each month. The UNHCR and Chinese officials also tell their sides of the story. Experts consider the possible fall of Kim Jong-il’s regime, an event that could send millions of refugees flooding across the shallow Tumen and Yalu rivers into China. Many fear that it will take such a catastrophe before the world truly understands the depths of this man-made tragedy.


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In the riveting documentary SEOUL TRAIN, filmmakers Jim Butterworth, Lisa Sleeth and Aaron Lubarsky expose the life-and-death struggle faced by North Koreans who attempt to flee their homeland through China, a country that does not recognize their legal status as refugees.

In China, a few fortunate North Korean refugees discover Asia’s own Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and hidden routes set up to lead refugees to freedom in South Korea. SEOUL TRAIN features courageous individuals from all over the world who put their own lives at risk to operate this “railroad.”

There are an estimated 250,000 North Korean refugees living in China. Having escaped starvation and torture at the hands of the North Korean regime, refugees living in China must continue to fight for survival. The Chinese government systematically raids homes, train stations and even taxis looking for North Koreans who they categorize as illegal immigrants. Chinese citizens are rewarded for turning in North Koreans living silently among them.

Using actual footage taken by activists, SEOUL TRAIN goes behind the doors of the covert safe houses where different groups of refugees plan their escapes. We meet refugees like two-year-old Han-mi and her family, accused of speaking out against Kim Jong-il’s regime. We hear the refugees’ first-hand accounts of life in North Korea and their fears of being caught and sent back. SEOUL TRAIN includes the dramatic footage of their escapes, as well as the stunning outcomes.

On This DVD
Seoul Train Jim Butterworth, Aaron Lubarsky, and Lisa Sleeth 2005 (55 minutes)
North Korea: A Day in the Life Pieter Fleury • 2004 (48 minutes)
Birthday Boy Sejong Park, Andrew Gregory • 2004 (9 minutes)

Seoul Train Documentary Trailer

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