An Inside Look at Escaping North Korea – ‘Beyond Utopia’ Doc Trailer
by Alex Billington
August 28, 2023
“We will try to save your family.” An official trailer has debuted for a new film called Beyond Utopia, a riveting documentary from editor / filmmaker Madeleine Gavin. This premiered as a last minute surprise screening at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, going on to win the Audience Award for Best Documentary. “This is a film you haven’t seen before from a place you’ll never visit, a first-class example of bravery and reportage melding into an filmed testament.” A suspenseful portrait of a courageous Pastor who uses an underground network to help families flee from North Korea, one of the most oppressive places on Earth. Gripping, thrilling, and never more timely, Madeleine Gavin’s award-winning film embeds the viewer with the subjects as they attempt their perilous escape, palpably conveying life-or-death stakes. The result is a singular, heart-pounding, and unforgettable experience. I watched this at Sundance and it’s remarkable. These are real people, risking their entire lives and safety to make it out of North Korea safely. An honest look at how incredibly hard it is to escape oppression, even in this modern world – ultimately it is possible.
Here’s the first official trailer for Madeleine Gavin’s doc Beyond Utopia, direct from YouTube:
A suspenseful, riveting portrait of the lengths people will go to gain freedom, the documentary Beyond Utopia follows various individuals as they attempt to flee North Korea, one of the most oppressive places on Earth, a land they grew up believing was a paradise. At the film’s core is a courageous pastor, a man of God on a mission to help a mother reunite with the child she was forced to leave behind, and a family of five — including small children and an elderly grandmother — embarking on a treacherous journey into the hostile mountains of China and through southeast Asia and eventually into Thailand. Leaving their homeland is fraught with unimaginable danger — yet these individuals are driven to take a great risk to finally live a free life. Beyond Utopia is directed by film editor / filmmaker Madeleine Gavin, of the doc films City of Joy and What I Want My Words to Do to You previously, plus work as an editor on many docs and indie films. Produced by Rachel Cohen, Jana Edelbaum, and Sue Mi Terry. This initially premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Fathom Events is hosting special screenings of Beyond Utopia on October 23rd & 24th this fall, before the film opens in theaters nationwide. Who’s interested?