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Korean Film News
Korean Comfort Women Drama Tours US Campuses
Feb 05, 2016
- Writerby Pierce Conran
For ten long years, director CHO Jung-rae has been trying to bring his story about Korean comfort women to the screen. On February 24th, Spirits' Homecoming will finally be unveiled to Korean viewers. Prior to that, following interest from overseas that began when the film’s challenges were highlighted in a New York Times interview on March 24th last year, the film went on a brief tour of college campuses in the United States. Last month, Spirits' Homecoming was screened for students at the University of Connecticut, Brown University and Northern Virginia Community College.
Crowd-funded by 70,000 donors to the tune of USD 500,000 (far short of the intended USD 2.5 million budget), Spirits' Homecoming depicts the fate of two young girls who are forcefully taken by officers and made to work in a Japanese military brothel during World War II. Some 200,000 Korean women populated these Japanese military brothels during the war, of which only 46 are still alive today.
Director CHO, who previously made Duresori : The Voice of the East (2012) and the documentary WONDERS, as well as numerous commercials, music videos and short films, was inspired to make the film when he saw a drawing sketched by surviving victim KANG Il-chul which depicted young Korean sex slaves, deemed useless after contracting illnesses, being brought to a burning pit to be disposed of.
According to its production company JO Entertainment, Spirits' Homecoming seeks to depict the “devastation and tragedy of the history caused by the military of Imperial Japan, and to heartily send out the message that this cannot be repeated.”