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National Film Board Features Film on Comfort Women

The National Film Board  (NFB) of Canada is bringing a new documentary film to Vancouver on December 3 and 4.

The Apology follows three Asian “comfort women” who as teenagers during World War II were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army.

One third of the film takes place in the Philippines, as the film follows “grandma Adela”, a woman who is on a quest to demand an official apology from the Japanese government, while at the same time, about to tell her family the truth for the first time since over 70 years.

“We would love the Filipino community to know about our film screenings, ” says Katja De Bock, Publicist of the NFB, when she presented the project to PNT. “Our filmmaker, Tiffany Hsiung, who worked seven years on this film, wishes to have the Filipino community know about the film, especially the Filipino side of the story.”

The Apology synopsis reads, “(The Apology) follows the personal journeys of three former ‘comfort women’ who were among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into military sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Some 70 years after their imprisonment in so-called ‘comfort stations’,  the three ‘grandmothers’—Grandma Gil in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in the Philippines—face their twilight years in fading health. After decades of living in silence and shame about their past, they know that time is running out to give a first-hand account of the truth and ensure that this horrific chapter of history is not forgotten.

“In Roxas City, Grandma Adela manages to finds solace, camaraderie, and a sense of freedom as part of a support group for other survivors. Though she found love after the war, she carefully hid the truth about her past from her husband. Now widowed, she is wracked with feelings of guilt for not sharing her secret. She resolves to tell her children, but remains unsure whether unburdening herself after all these years will make up for withholding the truth from the love of her life.”

The film is a runner up in the Audience Awards at Hot Docs this year, and the Busan Cinephile 2016 Awards in Korea.

The film will be shown on Saturday,  December 3 at 4:10 PM and Sunday,  December 4 at 7:30 PM at the Vancity Theatre on  1181 Seymour Street in Vancouver.