Translating Testimony and Verbal Statements - Discussing History of "Comfort-Women"-Related Movement
SIWFF's Polemics section has chosen and screened films about the most pressing subjects women face. This year's Polemics have five films crossing ages and regions on the theme of Translating Testimony and Verbal Statements – Discussing History of 'Comfort-Women.'
SEKIGUCHI Noriko's 1989 film, Senso Daughters depicts comfort facilities when the Japanese military occupied Papua New Guinea, as well as testimonies about sexual violence on local women, and their horrible experiences. It highlights the differences between occupiers and colonial people, as well as gender positions. The film also shows the difference cannot be clearly separated. Comfort is a new documentary film by PARK Emmanuel Moonchil, featuring issues that must be raised at present, including the continuity of sexploitation in contemporary Korea, exclusion and selection within 'comfort women' movements, movement imbalances between locals and non-locals, hearing oral history interviews through personal and public history, and links to contemporary feminist movements. Calling the Ghosts is a 1997 documentary film about two women who fell victim to torture and rape in a concentration camp during the Bosnian War. They started a fight for the recognition of rape as a war crime in international law. The documentary asserts that sexual violence is used as a weapon not only in the Bosnian War but also in wars of the world. It suggests the importance of global solidarity among women. The Silence, PARK Soonam's documentary film, is an important record that wasn't told in Korean 'comfort women' movements. It also asks meaningful questions about the relationship between a narrator's position in the documentary and subjects, as well as problems about nations, histories and genders, including 'comfort women' issues since the colonial period. As a draft edition screened at SIWFF 2016, this year's festival will feature the Japanese release version. The Big Picture portrays picture book author KWON Yoonduck who joined with authors from Korea, China and Japan to create a picture book on 'comfort women.' The documentary film brings up an issue about the representation of 'comfort women.' The director depicts the authors who start creating but can't continue, who are not able to draw despite what they thought they knew about it, and gender difference is revealed.
Through films that translate and communicate testimonies about sexual violence during the war, including 'comfort women' survivors, we seek a way to convert issues from the recent centrality of 'comfort women' movements into the power of movements and perspectives for the new age. HWANG Miyojo / Programmer