Sunday, December 31, 2006


Joint Security Area (공동경비구역 JSA)

공동경비구역 JSA The last film I watched in 2006 is a great (older) Korean film: "Joint Security Area" ("공동경비구역 JSA").

Joint Security Area (JSA) is where the North Korean and South Korean military face to face in the DMZ.

In this film, two North Korean soldiers were killed in the JSA. To avoid a bigger conflict or even war to be ignited from this incident, a female Korean Switzerland officer investigates both sides on behalf of neutral countries. Her finding only reveals bigger secret that reflects the pain and inhumanity rooted in the separation between the North and South Korea.

"Joint Security Area" is made by director Park Chan-wook (박찬욱) who also made the fantastic "Oldboy." Just like "Oldboy," I am profoundly touched by his characters.

Mr. Park allows us to look deep into these soldiers' heart. They are simply human, all Korean. But unfortunately, they are put into two opposite camps to be enemy of each other. They start to fight for ideology and politics. It's incredible sad that they are force to fire at each other simply because they are born on the different sides of the DMZ.

It reminds me another great film with similar subject set in World War II: "A Midnight Clear" and another good film set in World War I: "Merry Christmas" ("Joyeux Noël").

When will we stop fighting? I think my wish for 2007 would be the peaceful unification between North and South Korea, between Mainland China and Taiwan etc... I am hopeful, as John Lennon wrote:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

In deed, I am a dreamer too.

My rating: 9 out of 10.

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