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    Joint Security Area

    Death in the DMZ

    "Joint Security Area" is an intelligent murder mystery set at the only meeting point between North and South Korea, whose tragic solution reveals the war zone's tension between hate and humanity.


    (Originally reviewed at the Asian American International Film Festival in July 2001.)

    Shots ring out in the middle of the night on the hypermilitarized border between North and South Korea, and soon two northern soldiers are dead, and commandos from the south are storming across the border to rescue their own wounded man. It has the makings of an international disaster if neutral Swiss and Swedish investigators don't get to the bottom of the mystery fast.

    Original title: Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok jsa.
    Directed by: Chan-wook Park.
    Written by: Seong-san Jeong, Hyeon-seok Kim, Mu-yeong Lee, Chan-wook Park.
    Adapted from the novel "DMZ" by: Sang-yeon Park.
    Cast: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Tae-woo Kim, Ha-kyun Shin.
    In Korean and English with English subtitles.

    Related links: Official site
    Two Boots Pioneer Theater 155 East 3rd Street (at Ave. A) (212) 254-3300

    2001 Asian American International Film Festival

    Chinatown Files
    Joint Security Area
    Official site
    When Korean Cinema Attacks

    The Isle
    Joint Security Area
    Tell Me Something
    When Korean Cinema Attacks

    The Isle
    Joint Security Area
    Tell Me Something
    The job falls to Major Sophie Jean (Yeong-ae Lee), an ethnically Korean Swiss military lawyer flown in to conduct the investigation — her first time ever in Korea. She is handed prepared statements from all the survivors and expected to certify one of the countries' official lines and go home. But right away, the evidence doesn't match the official statements and the major begins to look for another explanation.

    In fact, by the end of "Joint Security Area," she has discovered a far different and more tragic truth from the one that everybody wants her to certify. "You haven't learned much about Panmunjom," the location of the one crossing point between North and South Korea, her superior officer scolds. "Here, the peace is preserved by hiding the truth. What they both really want is that this investigation proves nothing at all."

    This profound and politically astute film is its country's top domestic box-office draw ever and has gotten raves at film festivals around the world, and deservedly so. Like "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "A Midnight Clear," it's built on the humanity of the soldiers in wartime. In "Joint Security Area," there's added tension because the Koreans see each other as bitter enemies and blood brothers at the same time, and that conflict is at the heart of the film.

    JULY 19, 2001

    Reader comments on Joint Security Area:

  • JSA   from , Oct 17, 2001
  • JSA   from Nicole, Nov 11, 2001
  • JSA   from Tony, Jan 20, 2002
  • Re: JSA   from Joe Hess, Apr 20, 2002
  • Re: JSA   from Kim, Aug 19, 2002
  • Re: JSA   from George, Oct 28, 2002
  • Re: JSA   from Ren, Jul 7, 2003
  • Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok is a Film Bush should see   from Carl Atteniese, Jr., Mar 9, 2002
  • JSA in English   from Buddy, Aug 28, 2002
  • korean movie   from alice joh, Feb 10, 2003
  • korean movie   from alice joh, Feb 14, 2003
  • korean movie   from Tommy, Feb 14, 2003
  • korean movie   from Alice joh, Feb 17, 2003
  • korean Movie   from alice joh, Feb 18, 2003
  • Tommy   from Yuchi hur, Feb 23, 2003
  • Korean Movie   from Alice joh, Feb 24, 2003
  • korean Movie   from alice joh, Feb 25, 2003
  • korean movie   from alice joh, Mar 1, 2003
  • Great movie!!!   from hero, Mar 1, 2003
  • korean movie   from alice joh, Mar 11, 2003
  • korean movie   from alice joh, Mar 26, 2003
  • korean Movie   from alice joh & tommy, Mar 30, 2003
  • korean Movie of 2001   from alice joh, Apr 18, 2003
  • korean movie   from alice joh, Apr 22, 2003
  • korean Mystery Movie   from yuchi hur, Jul 25, 2003
  • JSA (Just Stupendous Account)   from Ian Johnston, Aug 28, 2003
  • JSA   from william white, Feb 21, 2004
  • Re: JSA - why suicide ?   from Raymond, May 8, 2005
  • Re: JSA - why suicide ?   from , Mar 23, 2006

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