J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000)
"Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 17,744 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 76 user | 80 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Maj. Sophie E. Jean
Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil
Tae-woo Kim ...
Nam Sung-shik
Jeong Woo-jin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ju-bong Gi
Maj. Gen. Bruno Botta
Myoeng-su Kim
Tae-hyeon Kim
Herbert Ulrich ...
Swedish soldier


In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 remaining bullets in the assassin's magazine clip, amount to 16 bullets for a gun that should normally hold 15 bullets. The investigating Swiss/Swedish team from the neutral countries overseeing the DMZ suspects that another, unknown party was involved - all of which points to some sort of cover up. The truth is much simpler and much more tragic. Written by serious cinephile <catpaw@cityline.ru>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller | War


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Release Date:

9 September 2000 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

J.S.A.: Joint Security Area  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Maj. Sophie Jean (Yeong-ae Lee) and her Swedish liaison walk across the infamous "bridge of no return," they make a reference to an axe murdering incident which took place on the morning of August 18, 1976, when a group of United Nations personnel attempted to trim the branches of a poplar tree in the DMZ that were obstructing the view from a U.N. guard post. North Korean soldiers attempted to block the operation then attacked the U.N. personnel with axes. Capt. Arthur G. Bonifas (honored as Major postmortem), Lieutenant Mark T. Barrett, and four Korean soldiers were killed, and as many US soldiers were wounded. Present day, the camp that houses JSA personnel is called "Camp Bonifas" in honor of Arthur Bonifas who was killed that day. See more »


The moment before Sgt. Lee shoots Sgt. Oh in the shoulder you can clearly see the squib device underneath his uniform. See more »


Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil: Your shadow is over the line. Watch it!
See more »


References Hour of the Wolf (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Moving Piece of Korean Cinema
11 October 2001 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Fusing a Hollywood-style 'who-dunnit' with an intellectually poignant essay on Korean geopolitics, 'Joint Security Area' ('JSA') offered a surprisingly moving twist to an otherwise engaging film.

It raises questions on the incredulity of ideological differences. It showcased the ridiculous, yet tragic consequences such an imposed barrier can have on its people. People, whom if not separated by mere political allegiance, have more in common than they care to admit. 'JSA' perceptively explored a modern day Korean psyche - that heartfelt desire for kinship and unity between the people of both Koreas.

'Joint Security Area' is a timely film with a universal message - "Let not differences in race, religion or ideological allegiance blindside our judgement, especially in these violent and confusing times."

I instinctively respond to this message. I hope you do as well.

65 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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