This film looks at the division of Korea by focussing on the demilitarised zone between North and South. The DMZ as it is abbreviated roughly follows the 38th Parallel along a 4 km wide strip, cutting the peninsula in two from West to East for 250 kilometres. Since the end of the Korean War (1953) it has represented the Korean division both symbolically and physically.
For the very first time, a team of non-military observers receives the authorization to enter the DMZ. As we accompany these scientists, researchers, writers and journalists, we discover with them some of the secrets it contains: a long tunnel built into the rock by the North with the aim of infiltrating the South; a barracks specialised in care of the young conscripts, guards of the Southern watch towers, who need psychological assistance after staring for six long hours at the Northern watch tower opposite them each day; the mass graves, only recently discovered, full of remains of victims of the Korean War; a surprising royal palace belonging to an ancient, long forgotten Korean King…
But beyond the unusual discoveries, the inquisitive approach of the civil observers reveals a strange reality: it is difficult to ascertain with certainty, but it seems that the military in charge of the DMZ on both sides are doing everything they can to keep the DMZ alive, and even promote its longevity. If this is true, how can Peace be brought about? Peace that would require the DMZ to disappear? Yet, it seems urgent to bring to an end an intolerable situation that has lasted already more than 60 years! The solutions that brought about reunifications in Vietnam and in Germany cannot be applied to Korea. The stakes are high, and the regional alliances are a complex game of geopolitics. But maybe a strong civil movement, on both sides of the DMZ, could be the solution?