This is my all-time favorite Korean movie. Based on the novel, DMZ, it was released in 2000 and directed by Park Chan Wook. JSA has been one of the biggest hits in Korean movie history and got awarded in many international film festivals. I watched this movie again a couple of months ago, but it is still good even after 10 years!
In 2009, Quentin Tarantino named this movie as one of his twenty favorite films since 1992.
What I liked about:
Technically, South Korea is still at war with North Korea now. Unlike many other films depicting North Korea as the enemy, this movie mainly shows about humanism as ‘Korean people’. It was a very fresh perspective to show North/South Korea relationship in this way. The movie is focusing the friendship between North and South Korean soldiers in JSA. Some of you may have watched ‘Shiri’, also themed about North-South Korea, but I prefer JSA.
After watching this movie, I really wanted to visit DMZ or Pan Mun Jum (판문점), but unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for South Korean citizens to visit DMZ as an individual. We have to go through security background check which takes more than a month and should get an approval from the Ministry of Unification. It’s open to foreigners except Chinese citizens, to visit and take a tour and feel the tension of two Koreas. I recommend many friends from overseas to take this DMZ tour and take as many photos as possible for me to see. I guess I get more curious about this kind of forbidden places.
I would not reveal any plot of this movie. A couple of things to know before the movie is that any communication between North and South Korean people is impossible. In regards to the unification of East and West Germany, I’m aware that communication like letters, telephones, etc were allowed between East and West. But in Korea, it is strictly prohibited and as you may know, North Korea is very isolated from South Korea as well as from the rest of the world.
Here is the trailer from YouTube and you can buy the DVD here: J.S.A. – Joint Security Area
Please leave a comment what you think about this movie if you already watched it!