CROSSINGSDirected by Deann Borshay Liem
When preeminent filmmaker Deanne Borshay Liem makes films, we pay attention. In her latest film CROSSINGS, it’s the same attention that 30 women corral for the seemingly simple act of crossing the DMZ, an invisible line separating North and South Korea and the most militarized border in the world. These renowned feminists include Gloria Steinem, Korean American organizer Christine Ahn, former Army Colonel Ann Wright, and Nobel Peace Laureates Leymah Gbowee and Mairead Maguire.
With newsreels, rare scenes of North Korean life, and backroom footage, CROSSINGS documents the historic effort by global peacekeepers to end the war dividing a formerly unified Korea and subvert binary conversations through a feminist platform. Their plan causes an international media storm and challenges from the ground up into the highest levels of government, triggering fraught brinkmanship, last minute pivots, and life and death stakes. CROSSINGS documents wrestling for strategic victories from state powers and the surprising power of symbolic acts to have lasting geopolitical and personal consequences.
The most important documentarian of transnational Korea, Liem continues her feminist focus on the political conditions that separate thousands of families across the modern Korean peninsula. CROSSINGS is a provocative addition to her pioneering work on adoption (Geographies of Kinship SDAFF ‘19, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee SDAFF ‘10). If we are paying attention, Liem’s presence behind the camera reminds us of the lives scattered around the world, and silently brings adoptees into every frame of CROSSINGS and every dream of Korean unification.