Norcross, April 21, 2016 — “Spirits' Homecoming” a powerful film on comfort women suffrage during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1943 was featured in a private screening by film director Cho Junglae at Korean American Association of Georgia (KAAGA) office. The film depicts the story of two Korean sisters being kidnapped and used as “comfort women” by Japanese soldiers.
“Comfort women” is a term describing victims of sexual assaults or torture by Japanese military soldiers during their occupation in Korea and Asia. Many had suffered under the brutal treatment or killed when they became pregnant, sick, or weak.
Over 3.6 million viewers had watched the period drama film in South Korea since its release on February 24, 2016. The film had grossed over $21.6 million in box office receipts and have received accolades for the film’s historical message.
“I made the film to represents the ‘voices’ of the victims,” said Director Cho Junglae, in an exclusive interview with Georgia Asian Times. Cho took over 14 years to complete the film and had to stopped productions several times due to financials constraints. The film eventually was produced with the assistance of over 75,000 crowdsourcing donations and private investments in South Korea.
“The inspiration of the film came to me when I was viewing a painting by Kang Il Chul titled ‘Burning Young Girls’,” explains Director Cho.
Spirits’ Homecoming is produced mostly based on testimonials and historical records by actual “comfort women” victims, adds Director Cho. He wanted to reach out to the victims who are “socially outcast” and cannot returned to their hometowns. He hopes him film would console the pain and ease mental sufferings of the remaining 44 living victims in South Korea.
The film was officially released for Atlanta screening during the Easter weekend.
Director Cho also shared with Georgia Asian Times that the film was produced without “big names” actors and actresses. Much of the film was made with volunteers help and limited budget.
Due to the sensitivity subject of the film, Director Cho has not received much support from the Korean authorities for his effort. Often times, he had been advised to tone down his rhetoric to avoid offending Japan and to appease critics of the film.