From The Other Side of the Mountain
  • From The Other Side of the Mountain

On Friday I posted the first part of my interview with Joon Bai, who was in town over the weekend to introduce the film The Other Side of the Mountain, which he wrote and produced. Mountain is the first fiction film produced in North Korea by an American citizen, and there probably won’t be any more of them for some time. As Bai explained to me, making the film was a difficult six-year process that involved constant negotiation with the North Korean government and long periods in which he was unable to work there at all. These challenges would dissuade most filmmakers—but then, Bai is not a filmmaker. He was inspired to write the movie (his first) after many years of doing humanitarian work with impoverished North Koreans. The film, motivated by his Christian values, is a plea for peace in that region. In the second part of our conversation, Bai opens up about his values and some of the challenges he faced in making Mountain.