Movie : JSA (Joint Security Area)

To be honest, I’m no good with words, just that this movie is the one truly initiated my appreciation of Korean movie industry as a whole.

If all-time-favorite movie means a certain movie that constantly comes up in one’s mind, then JSA will fall into my all time favorite korean-movie category. For years now that I’ve been embracing this movie in my heart. It’s the best yet (to me) of the North-South related story. This is probably one of the reason why I hardly enjoy any drama that centered around these two countries till now.  Naturally, friendships has no boundaries.


A firefight occurs at the “Bridge of No Return” in the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone), and two North Korean soldiers are killed. The North claims that the incident was a flagrant attack by the South Koreans, while the South claims that one of their soldiers was kidnapped. In order to solve the dispute, the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) dispatches half-Korean half-Swiss Army Intelligence Bureau officer, Major Sophie E. Jean. With no cooperation from either side, the case appears to be unsolvable. However, Major Jean discovers that the number of bullets fired from the pistols and the number found at the scene differ by one, and she begins to dig deeper into the backgrounds of the soldiers involved. Subsequently she finds out about an encounter previous to the firefight when North Korean soldiers saved a South Korean soldier from a mine. The story unravels to reveal a friendship developing among the soldiers. On the night of the firefight…




Directed by Park Chan-wook
Produced by Lee Eun
Written by Park Sang-Yeon (novel)
Jeong Seong-San
Park Chan-wook
Lee Mu-young
Starring Lee Young Ae
Lee Byung-hun
Song Kang-ho
Music by Cho Young-Wook
Cinematography Kim Seong-bok
Editing by Kim Sang-beom
Release date(s) September 9, 2000 (South Korea)

Awards and nominations

2000 Blue Dragon Film Awards

2000 Pusan Film Critics Awards

2001 Deauville Asian Film Festival

  • Lotus d’Or (Prix du Jury) (“Jury Prize”)
  • Lotus du Public (Prix du Public) (“Popular Choice”)
  • Lotus du Meilleur Acteur (“Best Actor”) – Song Kang-ho

2001 27th Seattle International Film Festival

  • New Director’s Showcase Special Jury Prize

2001 Berlin International Film Festival

  • Nomination – Golden Berlin Bear

2001 37th Paeksang Arts Awards

2001 Grand Bell Awards

  • Best Film
  • Best Actor – Song Kang-ho
  • Best Sound -Seok-weon Kim, Won-Yong Kim
  • Best Art Direction

2002 Blue Ribbon Awards

  • Best Foreign Language Film

2003 Hong Kong Film Awards

  • Nomination – Best Asian film

2001 Fant-Asia Film Festival

  • Nomination – Best Film

Via Wikipedia

Impressive movie of all time  🙂

17 Responses »

  1. hey kcomments, how are you? how’s your korean drama watching, I heard fashion king ends horribly hop I haven’t given away anything and also hows queen in hyuns man??? and rooftop prince and last but not least K2H I’ve started watching BIG never thought I would watch it at all but I love the first ep!!!

    • My finale meter : (DEF spoilers ahead)
      FK = *gulp* F (it’s good up to where I stopped recapping)
      QIHM = A – (if it’s sad ending (A+), but I’d rather happily settle for a happy one so that I could enjoy watching it again and again, so the verdict is LOVE.)
      RTP = A (Not sure about anybody but for me, it’s love – strictly for only the last episode)
      K2H = N/A (didn’t follow this one)

      You meant you didn’t watch all these? Man, what have you been doing?
      Currently on: GHOST, for the story and computer geek. BIG is still deciding, until GY’s acting makes me FEEL the boy (in fact, I loved the boy before the swap).

      Tried: Ajussi-4, Bridal Mask, Dr. Jin (creepy canned babe).
      Waiting for: FAITH (eventhough, right now, I’m kind of up-to-my-neck for time-travel drama).

  2. Hi! the movie looks like really interesting, I’m curently watching K2H…as @Zenti says I love this drama because there are different genre of story line, it’s unpredicabe till the end, one episod is like movie fore me.

    • Omo..pinokya, hellooo!
      Ah ha, two votes here for K2H, and lots more from where I’ve heard. Also heard the second guy was good, right? Well, already put it on my to-watch-list *wink*

  3. Aha! So maybe is this your underlying reason for hesitating on King 2 Hearts? >.<
    *runs and hides self* ^^

    • @Zenti
      Buahahaha………..I knew it!
      Well, actually I meant every N-S drama. But for K2H is different, I did take a peek and can I say the leads didn’t hook me? Did I just say that? *run to hide*
      I will definitely try again though. Please let me know if you like the ending ^^

      • Why are you pulling your hair on RTP’s episode 18?

        What episodes have you tried in K2H? The chemistry between LSG and HJW gets better in each episode. Have you seen the fridge kiss? ^^ I actually squee over the way they hug (it is not awkward as what I usually notice in kdramas). What I truly love about K2H are the cohesiveness of the story and the awesome way they handled relationships among the characters. And who would ever thought a drama can be comedy, romance, melodrama, action, and thriller. It takes you to a roller coaster ride evoking ranges of emotions from the viewers. ^^

        • @Zenti
          Don’t let me start on RTP ep18; I’ve never thought the plot would come down to use the invisible/fading dilemma (that we were so sad about) to get the prince out of jail, I’m sorry I laughed at the scene (and chuckled at many). So much potential with this kind of set-up, the writer chosen to stick with the home shopping channel instead, oh well, may be the writer is not good at writing sageuk (and logic of reincarnation?). But I love LG and PH together tho.

          I’m not a good follower of both LSG and HJW. I saw Secret Garden, My Girl Friend..Gumiho and Brilliant Legacy. It was like but not love. But will definitely try K2H again. I’m currently under the spell of scholar Kim Bong Do (Queen In-hyun’s Man) so much so that I want to just sit and wait for Wed to come 🙂

          Edit: dear zenti, are you planning to watch Dr.Jin? You love med drama, right?

        • I have given up on RTP when I find it going on circles and makjang elements are seen on its plot. I have taken a peek on QHIM and I prefer it way better than RTP. I would rather remember RTP with memories of the Joseon F4 and mother goose Park Ha than its mishmash plots. Btw, I want to fatten up your Yoochun! He became thin in RTP!

          I was not an avid fan of LSG and HJW but K2H is a turning point for me. I only watched LSG on Brilliant Legacy and only showed mild interest on 1 Night, 2 Days based on recaps. I was not keen on watching HJW in her projects although based on taking a peek of Secret Garden, I can see she is good actress. But with these two together, I can say that they bring out the best in each other.

          I really love how human relationships are portrayed in K2H. You get to love the characters (yes, that includes Ernest Bot Shi Kyung) because they are well written and executed.

          Regarding Dr. Jin, I am definitely going to check it out due to Song Seung Heon oppa. Haha, oh my … I can hear Dr. Jang Joon Ha making the tsk,tsk sound!

          • Buahaha……. ‘your Yoochun’? Weeee! Love that, couldn’t say it myself cuz people will KNOW haha. Take your words on K2H, I hope everything will go well in the finale. I really want to see SSH too, but Dr. Jin teaser showed a lot of blood/surgery which I’m quite allegic to hehe. The only thing I’m still with RTP is the Joseon F4 and Micky. Must keep the faith haha…. now gotta go check why my …had gotten so thin, gotta take the words of the doctor seriously 🙂

          • @ kcomments – Enjoy your vacation! I will keep you updated with K2H. Heehee … ^^*

  4. looks like a interesting movie seems it came out in the late 90s early 2000s

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