Dir: Dong-won Kim



149 mins


In the spring of 1992, documentary filmmaker Dong-won Kim met Cho Chang-son and Kim Seak-hyoung, two North Koreans arrested by South Korean authorities years before. Convicted of spying for the North, they were incarcerated and spent thirty years as political prisoners.

These men, and many others like them, underwent conversion schemes in prison that involved torture: those who renounced their communist beliefs were released from prison early. The others, known as ‘the unconverted’, served their full terms. None could return home to the North, however, until the turn of this century, when tensions between North and South eased significantly. Director Dong-won Kim followed these men for ten years, documenting how they survived – both physically and psychologically – the dehumanising time spent in prison, and their quest, once released, to finally go home.

Winner of the Freedom of Expression Award, Sundance Film Festival 2004.


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