Return to the Border

A Chinese-born filmmaker reflects on the personal ramifications of the political ideals of communism and socialism.

Film Signature Image
Global Voices
Premiere Date
June 13, 2010
60 minutes
Funding Initiative

Liang Zhao


Sylvie Blum

Senior producer in the governmental public institute INA in Paris, Sylvie Blum first produced feature films, then switched to documentary films for television, primarily dealing with contemporary arts and society. She has also directed several films on Latin America, dance, and literature.

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The Film

Chinese filmmaker Zhao Liang grew up in Dandong, near the border with North Korea, when the socialist countries were allies. However, as China started trading with capitalist South Korea in the 1990s, North Korea branded China as an enemy. Reflecting on recent history while trying to assess how things have changed since his youth, the filmmaker returns to Dandong, where he talks to a former resident of North Korea and ventures across an old railway bridge leading into Pyongyang for a brief covert tour of China’s former friendly neighbor.