December 05, 2023

Film review: ‘Beyond Utopia’ vividly depicts North Koreans’ efforts to escape

Documentary uses cell phone footage to provide rare look at life inside DPRK and the people suffering there

“Beyond Utopia,” a documentary about the perilous journeys of North Koreans looking to escape their oppressive regime, offers one of the most vivid depictions of defection to date — using camera phone videos to show the country from the inside.

Set for release in the U.S. on Monday, the film spotlights the efforts of Pastor Kim Seungeun of the Caleb Mission to help defectors navigate the treacherous paths from the DPRK’s claimed “utopia” to South Korea via China and Southeast Asia.