8th DMZ Docs(2016)
I AM DOCU
‘The House of sharing’ is a facility where Korean women who were ‘Comfort Women’ under the Japanese Imperial now live together. The director visited ‘House of Sharing’ for the first time in the summer of 1994. After meeting the ‘Halmoni’ and listening to their stories, he realized he needed to get to know them better, as a Japanese journalist. Four months later, he headed to the House of Sharing again—this time with a camera—so that he could record the voice and lives of the Halmoni.
‘House of Sharing’ located in Hyehwadong, Seoul, was for living comfort women who were forced to be sex slaves by the Japanese army during the 2nd World War to live together. Early residents of the ‘House of Sharing’, Kang Deok-kyung, Kim Soon-deok, Park Doo-ri, Park Ok-ryun, Lee Yong-nyeo, and Son Pahn-im, are now gone. When we revisited the ‘House of Sharing’ in Gwangju, Gyeonggi, in 2013, only an epitaph was left.
But the memories spoken by these women are recorded by cameras. Their lives get closer to us in a simple way, not in a exaggerated way. These ordniary and trivial days are intertwined with terrible victim memories. Memories stuck as deep wounds are revealed in the paintings these women drew.
The comfort women issue was brought up and then Kono statemetns, funding act were followed. This order of acts is repeated all the same way after 20 years later. One thing is different which is Korean goverment made ‘agreement’ on the comfort women issue with Japanese government without victim’s agreement.
When those women gathered in a room saying “when we say ‘apologize, investigate’, they can’t handle this with money,’, the film strongly insists this comforting women issue is not over at all. Kang Deok-kyung’s last statement on a sickbed lingers long. “We fight to the last.” [Ahn Hae-ryong]
Breaking the Silence (2009)Unheard Voice (2009)Fallujah, April 2004 (2005) I produce this documentary to bring more reality to the discussion, and to leave a record that the former ‘Comfort Women’ of the Japan Imperial Army were real—real individual with real names. I entitle this film, Living with “Memories”. The former ‘Comfort Women’ survived the war and the following decades while carrying the burden of deeply engraved, painful memories. Some of the testimonies made by the ‘Halmoni’ may have some inconsistencies in time or place. But they are unquestionably the memories, documented by myself, a journalist from the offender country of Japan. All of the seven Halmoni appearing in the film have already passed away. The testimonies they left behind have become valuable historical records.