Juror 8 (2019) is the film based on the first jury trial in South Korea introduced in 2008. Eight ordinary people with numerous occupations and different ages gathered as a jury for the trial in the movie. At first, it seemed to be simple for jury members since all the evidence, testimony, and confessions of the murder case was definite. However, as the defendant suddenly alleged his innocence, the trial turned into trial to decide the guilt or innocence. Chief judge, Kim Jun-kyeom, tries to lead the trial in an accurate and prompt way as a strict rule-enforcer. However, with the unexpected request and questions starting from one of the jurors, Kwon Nam-woo, the trial started to head in a direction that no one foresaw.
This film shows how ordinary people who do not know the law well changed in the situation where they have to decide another person’s guilt or innocence. Through the various human groups represented in the film approaching the truth, prejudice that people have thought about legal system and the reason why people need legal system were well drawn out. Actually, among the eight jurors, Kwon Nam-woo is the character who mainly makes the other jurors rethink that defendant is really guilty person once again. In the beginning of the movie, Kwon Nam-woo was also an ordinary person not interested in the law. However, through numerous questions which were thrown to him during the trial, he started to think about the fundamental meaning of the law.
From the viewpoint of the Kwon Nam-woo, the audience also came to think about what they would do if they were Kwon Nam-woo when he agonizes over questions and decisions during the trial. Actually, during the interview scene which screens Kwon Nam-woo as the jury, Kim Jun-kyeom asked him the reason why he thinks that legal system exists. In this scene, Kim Jun-kyeom stares at the front of the screen squarely with the audience. In this way, she gives the audience time to think. This technique helps audience think from the perspective of the jurors and get immersed into the questions about the law which director wants to deliver to the audiences.
These messages about meaning of law are also expressed and repeated throughout the confrontation between characters. As the most of evidence and testimony were clear, other jurors urges Kwon Nam-woo to decide whether he is innocent or not as quickly as possible. Representatively, one of other jurors, Choi Young-jae who is chief secretary of a large firm, claimed to follow the majority’s opinion and finish the trial quickly. Actually, Choi Young-jae continuously insisted that if Kwon Nam-woo does not know, he needs to follow the majority’s opinion and the fact which they could see now. However, as the other facts and possibilities which can make the defendant innocent became evident, jurors realized they could not be sure about the defendant’s guilt. Then, a young lady juror whose mind changed due to Kwon Nam-woo’s effort, asks Choi Young-jae to express his own thought, not an expert’s idea. At her question, Choi Young-jae who usually had claimed guilt only based on evidence from experts became speechless with her question, started to look back at himself and changed gradually during trial.
Through these kinds of questions and characters, the audience realize prejudices on the laws themselves, considering how difficult it is to judge others’ guilt. In the interview scene of the film, Kwon Nam-woo answered that the law exists to punish the bad people in response to Kim Jun-kyeom’s questioning which asks the meaning of the law. Then, Kim Jun-kyeom says, "Laws exists not to punish people without any standard mindlessly.” Like this, showing the audience numerous prejudices and difficulties in the process of enforcing the law and making decision, juror 8 makes the audience think over the true meaning of the law’s existence giving new perspective on the law. About the movie, journalist, Jeong Yu-mi stated that “The director Hong Seung-wan throw questions to audiences with one juror’s sit left.” Actually, Juror8 makes audiences regards their own thoughts important as the jurors’ opinion, getting them involved in a process of momentous decision. Consequently, the audience could rethink the true meaning of judgment on another person’s life.