Discuss The Meaning Of The “brotherhood” In Taegukgi And Joint Security Area

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Discuss the meaning of the “brotherhood” in Taegukgi and Joint Security Area


This paper provides a comparison of two hit movies of the Korean cinema. Both of the films Taegukgi and Joint Security Area are classical examples of war epic.

Thesis Statement

The films based on war epics have transformed the Korean cinema and taken it to the new horizons of success.


"Taegukgi" is the story of two brothers who are unwillingly drafted into the South Korean army following the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950. The older brother (Dong-gun) strives to protect his younger brother (Bin) on the battlefield while struggling to find a way to have him discharged so he can return to their village and care for the family they left behind. However, as the war progresses, the horror and violence they witness begin to take its toll on each man and sever their bonds as brothers and soldiers.

The film begins when two North Korean soldiers are killed in the DMZ at a North Korean border house. Alarms sound on both sides, and North and South Korean soldiers are quickly deployed at the scene, resulting in an exchange of gunfire. Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok (Lee Byung-Hun) despite an injured leg runs from the North Korean side and attempts to reach the South Korean side. He is shortly rescued while the gunfire continues.

Two days later, the fragile relationship between the two Koreas now relies on a special investigation conducted by Swedish and Swiss investigators from the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission to ensure that this incident does not erupt into a serious conflict. The mission is led by Swiss Army Major Sophie (Lee Young Ae). Her mother is Swiss and her father is Korean; however, this is her first time in Korea.

As Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok (a South Korean soldier on border duties) has confessed to the shootings, it is up to Sophie to investigate why the two Koreas have contradicting accounts of events. Sophie proceeds to read the story of Soo-hyeok's experience which tell of him being knocked out and kidnapped while defecating. He then wakes up tied up in the North Korean border house, before proceeding to secretly free himself and shoot three North Korean soldiers, leaving two dead. However, Soo-hyeok is totally unresponsive to Sophie and will not answer any of her questions. On asking Soo-hyeok's comrades about him, she receives stories praising his courage defusing a mine he stepped on, or of throwing rocks at the North Korean house; however this gets her nowhere. Sophie then visits North Korea whose sole survivor of the shooting Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil (Song Kang-ho) tells a different story: one in which Soo-Hyeok barges into the border house and shoots everyone before retreating when the wounded Kyeong-pil fights back.

The autopsy report shows that one soldier was shot first in the chest and then in the head, while the other, Jeong Woo-jin, was shot eight times repeatedly, more indicative of a grudge than an attempt at escape. The events that led to the killing of ...