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The Apology a moving doc about resilience of WWII ‘comfort women’

During the Second World War, more than 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and Indonesia were enslaved by the occupying Japanese armies.

4 out of 4 stars

Title
The Apology
Directed by
Tiffany Hsiung
Country
CANADA
Language
English

It is estimated that during the Second World War more than 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and Indonesia were enslaved by the occupying Japanese armies. One of them was Gil Won-Ok, a Korean woman now in her 80s whose entire life has been shadowed by her wartime fate: at the age of 13, she was snatched from her family by Japanese soldiers and forced into sexual slavery for several years. The spunky Grandma Gil is one of the stars of The Apology, a remarkably moving documentary by director Tiffany Hsiung partly about the war crime, but mainly about the incredible resilience of the aging survivors who have been petitioning the Japanese government for an apology and restitution since the stories of the so-called comfort women first came to light in the early 1990s. (After this film wrapped, Japan finally offered a half-hearted apology and has now begun to pay some compensation.) As women age they become invisible to society; what is heartrendingly inspiring about The Apology is the grandmothers' steadfast refusal to disappear.

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About the Author

Kate Taylor is lead film critic at the Globe and Mail and a columnist in the arts section. More

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