“JSA – JOINT SECURITY AREA”— Two Warring Nations


Two Warring Nations

Amos Lassen

In “JSA”, filmmaker  Chan-wook Park brings us a story of deceit, misunderstanding and the senselessness of war. When gunfire breaks out in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers are dead while a wounded South Korean soldier (Lee Byung-hun) rushes to safety. The tenuous peace between the two warring nations is in trouble. A neutral team of investigators, headed by Swiss Army Major Sophie Jean (Lee Young-ae), is sent to question both sides to find out what really happened.

The DMZ is perhaps the tensest political border in the world and an incident like this doesn’t go overlooked. A special investigation is soon held under Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission and her written disposition of what happened is different from the other deposition written by another investigator..

We go back to before the incident and believe that the film is going to be a political thriller as we wonder about what actually happened that night. What the flashback presents is totally unexpected. Rather than taking the expected suspenseful thriller approach, JSA is a heartbreaking human drama.

We see how characters from both sides of the border can only act as far as their respective governments allow and how a sincere, harmless friendship eventually is buried under political constraints. Most South Koreans probably haven’t got much of an idea of how things are going on in the North and do not seem to care. It is quite surprising that one of the most distinct looks at this was made twenty-one years ago..


  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

  Original lossless Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks

  Optional English subtitles

  New audio commentary by writer and critic Simon Ward

  Isolated music and effects track

  Newly recorded video interview with Asian cinema expert Jasper Sharp

  The JSA Story and Making the Film, two archival featurettes on the film s production

  About JSA, a series of archival introductions to the film by members of the cast

  Behind the scenes montage

  Opening ceremony footage

  Two music videos: Letter from a Private and Take the Power Back

  Theatrical trailer

  TV spot

  Image gallery

  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing by Kieran Fisher

Leave a Reply