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Joint Security Area (2000)

Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA (original title)
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 »

Director:

Chan-wook Park
14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yeong-ae Lee ... Maj. Sophie E. Jean
Byung-Hun Lee ... Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok
Kang-ho Song ... Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil
Tae-woo Kim ... Nam Sung-shik
Ha-kyun Shin ... Jeong Woo-jin
Herbert Ulrich Herbert Ulrich ... Swedish soldier
Christoph Hofrichter ... Maj. Gen. Bruno Botta
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Micara Adriana Micara Adriana
Gallego Alberto Gallego Alberto
Ahmedov Ayder Ahmedov Ayder
Cannon Greg Courtney Cannon Greg Courtney
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi ... General Pyo
Isaac Green Isaac Green
Kwang-il Kim Kwang-il Kim ... Civil Servant #3
Myoeng-su Kim Myoeng-su Kim ... Top Ranking Officer Choi
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Storyline

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 rounds in the assassin's magazine, amount to 16 cartridges for a gun that should normally hold 15. 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 | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Myung Film

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | English | German

Release Date:

9 September 2000 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

J.S.A.: Joint Security Area See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the beginning of the South Korean patrol scene, at 30:46, you can see what appears to be a mound of earth, which is actually a grave. Departed Koreans were buried sitting up and overlooking their favorite piece of land. These burial mounds were known by American GI's as "Happy Mounds". See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok: Hey Assholes! You just gonna leave me here?
Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil: You told us to go.
Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok: I said don't come closer, when did I say to leave, you fuckers!
See more »

Connections

References Rashomon (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chan-wook Park's most politically-charged film tackles the very volatile tension that exists between the North and South Koreans.
29 February 2008 | by SchwenkstarSee all my reviews

Chan-wook Park's most politically-charged film tackles the very volatile tension that exists between the North and South Koreans. This could have easily been propagandistic in nature, with this South Korean film portraying the Northerners as mere caricatures of Communistic ideals, but instead the film happily sidesteps this and portrays both the North Koreans and South Koreans as kinsmen.

In the beginning of the picture, both sides have a skewed view of one another, seeing each through the lens of their political temperament - the border between the two thus is interpreted as a wall that filters and jades each one's perspective. However, once that that wall is finally crossed, the two sides realize that no wall really exists, and they begin to see each other as human beings - The soldiers first call one another "enemies", but soon they are calling one another "brothers".

The characters are richly drawn and dynamic to reflect this - each are humans, with their own unique demeanor, and that their national identity is nothing more than a facade. While the soldiers are alone, away from their government infrastructures, both sides cling to one another in fellowship as they find themselves all the same. Only when the absent governmental element is reintroduced are the soldiers forced to revert back behind their facades, and tragedy results.

A powerfully moving and keenly intelligent analysis of the confusing political situation between the two opposing governmental systems. Despite being slightly marred by a few lapses into melodrama and overstatement, that can not take away from its piercing effectiveness.

The highest recommendation possible.


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