Archive of films Joint Security Area / Gong Dong Kyung Bi Gu Yuk JSA

South Korea
2000, 110 min

Section: New Korean Cinema
Year: 2001


Shooting breaks out in the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas and two are left dead. Both are North Korean soldiers shot by a sergeant from the South. But were shots really fired from only his gun? The versions of the story given by the enemy sides contradict each other and so an investigation is ordered. It falls to Sophie Jean, a major from a United Nations unit and the first woman to enter the border area since 1953. During her investigation she gradually discovers that the night-time exchange of fire on the ‘Bridge of No Return’ (which both connects and separates the two worlds) was caused by completely different factors than either side has described in their protocols. A chain of unexpected events leads the major from a stray dog and land mines to finally uncovering the truth – though the truth will not be included in the official report: in civil war friendship can end in death. Last year’s most successful Korean film blew Mission: Impossible II out of the water at domestic box offices. European audiences have been captivated by the brilliant night-time scenes.

About the director

Park Chan Wook (b. 1963) graduated in philosophy from university in Sogang. While at school he started the ‘film gang’ club and published a number of critical studies on contemporary film. He gained recognition with the gangster flick The Moon is the Sun’s Dream (1992) and the action comedy The Threesome (1997). Joint Security Area won Best Director and Best Korean Film.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: New Korean Cinema
Director: Park Chan Wook
Screenplay: Kim Hyun Seok, Park Chan Wook
Dir. of Photography: Kim Sung Bok
Music: Cho Young Wook
Editor: Kim Sang Beom
Producer: Lee Eun, Shim Jae Myung
Production: Myung Film Co., Ltd.
Cast: Lee Young Ae, Lee Byung Heon, Song Kang Ho, Kim Tae Woo, Shin Ha Kyun, Christopher Hoflichter, Herbert Ulrich

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