• From The Other Side of the Mountain

The Peace on Earth Film Festival continues through Sunday at the Cultural Center, presenting free screenings of documentaries and fiction films that “raise awareness of peace, nonviolence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world.” Surely the most remarkable movie in the lineup is The Other Side of the Mountain, the first fiction film produced in North Korea by an American citizen. It screens tomorrow at 4 PM with writer-producer Joon Bai in attendance. The film tells a love story between a South Korean man and the North Korean woman who takes him in when he’s wounded during the Korean War. They’re separated when the war ends, but they spend the next few decades trying to reunite. Their saga sounds like the stuff of melodrama, but a final title explains that their experience is depressingly common: by one estimation, over 10 million Koreans have been unable to unite with family members since the war. The other day I spoke with Bai, who was born in North Korea but has lived in the United States since 1959, about how the film came to be. His story is at least as fascinating as the movie he made, so I’ve decided to publish our hour-long conversation nearly in full. The first part follows the jump; I’ll post the rest next week.