A Secret Buried for Fifty Years
"the Story of Taiwanese "Comfort Women"

TAIWAN/ 1998 / Taiwanese, Ha - ka Dialogue/ Color / 16mm / 90 min

Yang Chia-yun
Script: Tuan Tsen-su
Photography: Shen Ruei-yuan Editing: Wu Huei-yin
Music: Hugo P. Chang
Sound: Meng Chi-liang, Hsu Cheng-kao, Meng De-ying
Producer: Nancy Wang, Ho Bi-tsen
Production Company: The S.H.E Shop
Source: Taiwan Film Center
4F, No. 19, Lane2, Wan Li Street, Taipei 116 TAIWAN
Phone: 886-2-2239-6026 / Fax: 886-2-2239-6501
E-mail: tfc@transend.com.tw

Yang Chia - yun

Born in 1947. Graduated National Taiwan College of Art with degree in Theater. Directed her first feature in 1978, a love story called Morning Fog. Has tackled some of society's ills in works such as I Dare You (1981), Woman's Revenge (1982), and Bloody Murder (1983). Has worked extensively in television as a director.

After a silence of half a century, fourteen Taiwanese women tell their difficult postwar life histories and the hardships of being forced or deceived into working for the Japanese Army as "comfort women"during World War II. This lucid work is crafted with a serene touch. Its very calmness brings home the depths of unhealed wounds from sexual abuse endured at the age of seventeen.
While the director didn't intend it, this work, with its message of the exhaustive wartime discrimination against women and the violation of human rights, sheds light on present Japanese (unconscious) understandings of gender. It includes not only comments that disgrace the nation - such as a high - ranking official saying that hitting his wife is part of Japanese culture, or that half of all officials are having extra - marital affairs, which restore their energy for work. It also reminds us of the mass media's endless humiliation of women in a context in which consumption is the highest virtue.
Although it has been six years since the Japanese government admitted the wartime Army's role in forcing Koreans to be comfort women, its policy since then seems to have stepped back rather than forward. If the Obuchi administration is serious about cleaning up the problems of the20th century now, isn't this issue of "comfort women" one of the most urgent?
[Fukushima Yukio]

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee