Film Screening and Panel: Beyond UtopiaVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Reception 6:00 p.m.
Screening 6:45 p.m.
Panel Discussion 8:45 p.m.
Join us for a special screening presented by the Asia Society and the Council of Foreign Relations of Beyond Utopia.
This acclaimed documentary unfolds like a real-time geopolitical thriller as it follows two families attempting to defect from the most oppressive country on Earth: North Korea. They embark on treacherous three-thousand mile, four-country journey with the help of Pastor Seungeun Kim and an underground network of volunteers and illicit brokers, who serve as the only hope for North Koreans desperate to escape a life of oppression.
This must-see film is the winner of multiple awards, including the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Aspen Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival, and the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award at the Durban Film Festival.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Beyond Utopia Director and Editor Madeleine Gavin and producer and North Korea expert Dr. Sue Mi Terry. They will also be joined by Pastor Kim, whose underground network is featured in the film, and North Korean defector and activist Soyeon Lee. The panel will be moderated by Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.
Runtime: 115 minutes
Beyond Utopia Trailer
Madeleine Gavin is Director and Editor of Beyond Utopia. She has edited award-winning narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Berlinale, and Cannes, among others. Madeleine directed and edited the Netflix Original Documentary, City of Joy, and is in production on a film that follows an indomitable group of octogenarians in New York City who, while facing debilitating illnesses, are finding transcendence through their relationship with a music coach. She is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Pastor Seungeun Kim is a prominent human rights advocate and the head of Caleb Mission, a Christian church based in South Korea. He passionately serves North Korean defectors and works tirelessly on their behalf, rescuing and helping them become self-sufficient. Pastor Kim has gained international recognition for his work with a modern-day “underground railroad” that has helped rescue over 1,000 defectors since 2000. Pastor Kim’s commitment to social justice for North Koreans continue to inspire people around the world.
Soyeon Lee was born and raised in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong province, North Korea. After serving as a sergeant in the North Korean Army, she defected and settled in South Korea. Since then, she focuses on publicizing the horrific human rights situation in North Korea by appearing on TV and lectures on the Republic of Korea's Armed Forces, and serves as a representative of an NGO "New Korea Women's Union," that helps North Korean women defectors settle in South Korea.
Dr. Sue Mi Terry is producer of Beyond Utopia. She is one of the world’s leading experts on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia, with extensive experience in intelligence, policymaking, and think tanks. She has served as a Senior Analyst at the CIA, Director of Korea, Japan and Ocean Affairs at the National Security Council under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council, and National Intelligence Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Since leaving the government, she has been the Director of the Asia Program and the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center, Senior Fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and senior research scholar at Columbia University. She is a regular contributor to many publications, including Foreign Affairs and the Washington Post, and a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN and the BBC.
Barbara Demick (moderator) is the author of Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood. Nothing to Envy was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was the winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize in the United Kingdom. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. She is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and a contributor to The New Yorker, and was recently a press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
This program is presented in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations.
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