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Joint Security Area

공동경비구역 JSA

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Park Chan-wook was among the first Korean filmmakers to make an impact in the West with Oldboy. But before that, he enjoyed a box office smash at home with this compelling drama from 2000. Gunfire in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea leaves two North Korean soldiers dead while a South Korean soldier flees to safety. With the peace between the two nations on a knife-edge, Major Sophie Jean must determine what happened.

Before iconic films like Oldboy and his most recent Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook made this, lesser-known, but equally brilliant film. The story is structured in the form of a whodunnit, but it manages to deliver so much more than a simple murder mystery. The film explores themes of brotherhood, loyalty, nationalism, all within this fascinating and complicated setting. The performances are so nuanced and well-crafted, the direction is masterful, and the climax is as devastating as it is thrilling. If you are a fan of Korean cinema and Park Chan-wook, this is a must-watch.
Anthony Shim


September 30 & October 8: Introduced by Leading Lights guest programmer Anthony Shim


Supported by


Lee Yeong-ae, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho, Kim Tae-Woo, shin Ha-kyun

Country of Origin

South Korea




Leading Lights


In Korean with English subtitles

109 min
Award Winners Drama

Book Tickets

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Eun Soo Lee, Myeong-chan Park


Jeong Seong-san


Sung-Bok Kim


Kim Sang-beom

Original Music

Jun-seok Bang, Jo Yeong-wook


Park Chan-wook headshot, Decision to Leave director

Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-wook has had two films win at Cannes: Oldboy (2003), which won the Grand Prix and Thirst (2009), which won the Jury Prize. His film The Handmaiden (2016) screened in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. From his TV series The Little Drummer Girl (2018), which screened on the BBC, to his collaboration with Apple on the short film Life is But a Dream (2022), director Park Chan-wook constructs unique cinematic worlds with his taboo-breaking storytelling, fascinating characters, and sensual visuals.

Filmography: Oldboy (2003); Thirst (2009); The Handmaiden (2016); Decision to Leave (2022)

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