New to DVD this week:
Hot Docs 2016
Human Rights Watch, Göteborg, Vilnius, Busan, Cork, Cinemalaya, DocPoint
Former comfort women speak out about the abuse they suffered in WWII.
While the Imperial Japanese Army’s use of sex slaves has already been well-documented as a devastating human rights abuse during wartime, the nation of Japan has yet to officially acknowledge this barbarous practice. With former so-called “comfort women” usually shamed into silence in the decades since World War II, and their aging population dwindling, some have begun to speak out. Hsiung’s impactful film profiles three, hailing from South Korea, China, and the Philippines, to share their harrowing stories, while also following their efforts to receive the titular apology from Japan, only to face further stigmatization and scorn. Hsiung does justice to her subjects’ stories, with the film’s somewhat overlong running time and plodding score the only real missteps, making the project feel even heavier for an already difficult topic.