Joint Security Area is Released

Joint Security Area (2000) is a South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook. Its plot revolves around efforts to unravel the truth behind an illegal shooting at the politically and militarily sensitive North-South Korean border.

By early 2001 Joint Security Area had become the highest grossing film in Korean film history, remaining so until eclipsed by Friend, Silmido and Taegukgi. This success allowed Park Chan-wook to get the financial leeway to make his subsequent movies.

Within two weeks of its release the film had taken in one million admissions. A DVD of the movie was presented to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-II by South Korea's President Roh Moo-Hyun during the Korean summit in October 2007.

"Joint Security Area" is neither as convoluted nor as violent as "Oldboy," though plenty of blood is shed. Set in a particularly tense area of the demilitarized zone between the Koreas, it is a fairly straightforward whodunit with a pointedly political theme and an unapologetically humanist message. Major Jean (Lee Yeong-ae), who grew up in Switzerland, comes to South Korea, her father's homeland, to investigate an incident that took place inside the Joint Security Area, administered by Swedish and Swiss peacekeepers.