aka: Brotherhood, aka: Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, aka: Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo, aka: 태극기 휘날리며
In 1950, in South Korea, the shoe-shiner Jin-tae Lee and his eighteen years old student brother Jin-seok Lee form a poor but happy family with their mother, Jin-tae's fiancé Young-shin Kim and her young sisters. Jin-tae and his mother are tough workers, who sacrifice themselves to send Jin-seok to the university. When North Korea invades the South, the family escapes to a relative's house in the country, but along their journey, Jin-seok is forced to join the army to fight in the front, and Jin-tae enlists too to protect his young brother. The commander promises Jin-tae that if he gets a medal he would release his brother, and Jin-tae becomes the braver soldier in the company. Along the bloody war between brothers, the relationship of Jin-seok with his older brother deteriorates leading to a dramatic and tragic end.
Inspired by a true story. Jun Shik works for Tatsuo's grandfather's farm while Korea is colonized by Japan, but he has a dream to participate in Tokyo Olympics as a marathon runner. Tatsuo also aims to become a marathon runner, so the two are in rivalry. But war breaks out and they both are forced to enlist in the army. Tatsuo becomes the head of defense in Jun Shik's unit and he devises a scheme but fails. Jun Shik and Tatsuo are captured by the Soviets. They run away but soon are captured by Germans and forced to separate. In 1944, they meet again at the shores of Normandy.
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 remaining bullets in the assassin's magazine clip, amount to 16 bullets for a gun that should normally hold 15 bullets. The investigating Swiss/Swedish team from the neutral countries overseeing the DMZ suspects that another, unknown party was involved - all of which points to some sort of cover up. The truth is much simpler and much more tragic.
A story of 71 student soldier trainees who fought an impossible war against seasoned North Korean army during Korean War which broke out in 1950. Based on real history, the film delicately depicts the fierce battle that teenage student soldiers fall into as they fight to protect the final defense line by themselves when under a surprise attack and their emotions and conflicts as they experience the grown-ups’ war.