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‘22’, Korean-Chinese Co-produced Documentary about Comfort Women, is Surprise Hit in China

Sep 05, 2017
  • Writer by KIM Su-bin
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Film now All-time Top Grossing Documentary in Chinese Box-office History

The Korean-Chinese co-produced documentary film 22 (Her Brave Life), has become a box office hit in China. The documentary, which is about comfort women living in China, was released on August 14th, the International Memorial Day for Comfort Women, and has maintained the top spot at the box office recording USD 24.3 million in revenue as of August 30th. This is the most financially successful documentary ever released in China. Previously, Born in China, a documentary film about animals, had held the biggest record with a total of USD 10.2 million since its first screening in August, 2016. 22 (Her Brave Life) will be listed in the Guinness Book of Chinese Records for “greatest return on investment”.  

The documentary was produced by Korean company Asiahome Entertainment and directed by Chinese director GUO Ke. Additionally the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Korea Creative Contents Agency (KOCCA) supported the production. According to Asiahome Entertainment, even its release was originally uncertain but many people supported the film’s distribution and promotion budgets via crowd funding. Support for the film from Chinese master directors such as FENG Xiaogang and ZHANG Yimou were revealed by national broadcaster CCTV, helping to increase attention and interest. The title stands for the number of comfort women alive at the time of the movie’s filming in 2014. It also contains interviews with Korean victims living in China, PARK Cha-soon, LEE Soo-dan and HA Sang-sook. Only nine of the 22 women featured in the film are alive now. 
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