Film / Joint Security Area

Joint Security Area (JSA) is a film by acclaimed Korean director Park Chan Wook. It centered around an investigation by United Nations officials of a fatal shooting incident that occurred in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. When released, it was the highest grossing Korean film of all time.

The film contains examples of:

  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sung-shik, who is initially another unimportant guard; after attempting suicide, he is revealed to have been sneaking over the border too, and to be the second shooter.
  • Driven to Suicide: Both South Korean soldiers: Sung-shik throws himself out of the window when threatened with a lie-detector test; and Soo-hyeok shoots himself after explaining everything.
  • Faux Fluency: The United Nations investigator unraveling the mystery at the DMZ is a Korean actress who obviously learned her English lines phonetically. Later versions completely dubbed her lines with a native English speaker.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The friendship between the soldiers will end badly.
  • Framing Device: The main story is told in a series of flashbacks as the UN investigator tries to find out the truth about a murder.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Though there is also a great deal of additional investigation besides the interrogations
  • Shown Their Work: With a highly accurate recreation of the Joint Security Area. As of 2015, the JSA set still stands.
  • Take It to the Bridge: The famed "Bridge of No Return"
  • Translation Convention: The Swiss and Swedish members of the United Nations stationed in Korea speak English instead of Korean or their native language. A Swiss character of Korean nationality speaks English with a heavy Korean accent rather than a Swiss one.