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Comfort Women: Listening To Their Voices — free screenings and discussion in Sheffield

A series of documentary screenings and discussions on the subject of Comfort Women, spread over Friday evening and Saturday. Director Byun Young-joo will be present to discuss her work – the first two documentaries of her 낮은 목소리 trilogy will be screening. Director Kim Dong-won will also be present.

Korean Cinema Stories: Comfort Women — Listening To Their Voices

Showroom Cinema, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX

Comfort Women poster

Friday 19 June

18.30:  Introduction

The Murmuring (낮은 목소리)

The MurmuringDir: Byun Young-joo, 1995, 98 mins

The first film from a three-part documentary series depicts the lives of elderly Korean women who protested against the Japanese government regarding their forceful deployment as sexual workers for the Japanese Army during World War Two. These women, now in their sixties to eighties, recount their stories and experiences of sexual enslavement.

Followed by drinks reception sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University

Book free tickets for Friday | See the official announcement page for Friday

Saturday 20 June

09.30  Coffee / Registration

10.00  Introduction

Habitual Sadness (낮은 목소리 2)

Habitual SadnessDir: Byun Young-joo, 1997, 71 mins

A group of elderly women sharing a common bond live peacefully alongside each other in the countryside. They are no different to the elderly women you see every day, but they all share the pain and sorrow of being comfort women during World War Two. Subject to prejudice and exclusion on their return and unable to bear children because of their ordeal, the film asks us to remember their sacrifices and the shame and misery they face, often forgotten by their own people as they pass away.

Discussion (45 mins), moderated by Hyangjin Lee

Director Byun Young-joo, a founder member of the women’s feminist film organization ‘Bariteo’ and director of The Murmuring will lead a discussion about the issues of women’s rights in her documentary films. Her most recent film, Helpless (2012), won the 2012 Baeksang Arts Awards and Women in Film Korea Awards.

63 Years On (끝나지 않은 전쟁)

Dir: Kim Dong-won, 2008, 60 mins


This film contains in-depth interviews with five comfort women from various countries, including Korea, China, the Philippines. The stories are contextualised within the historical narrative of World War Two by use of archive footage and photographs.

Discussion (45 mins), moderated by Minkyu Kim

Director Kim Dong-won is a prolific independent filmmaker who deals with social issues including  urban poverty and North Korea. Known for his humanist, philosophical filmmaking style, his camera dwells frequently on marginalized and declassed populations. His best known film, Repatriation (2003) won the Freedom of Expression Award at the 2004 Sundance International Film Festival.

My Heart Is Not Broken Yet (나의 마음은 지지 않았다)

My Heart Is Not Broken YetDir: Ahn Hae-ryong, 2007, 95 mins

The film centres on Grandma Song Sin-do who, with support from a group of Japanese citizens, campaigns for human rights and official apology from Japan for comfort women. Taking the unconventional stance that both comfort women and soldiers were victims of war, she involves several veteran Japanese soldiers in her discussions.

Discussion (45 mins), moderated by Yuko Kawai

Chingja Yang who shot and produced My Heart is Not Broken Yet is a founding member of the ‘Our Women Network’ and ‘Organization of supporters of the Korean-Japanese comfort women’ in Japan.

Professor Kawai is an associate professor at the College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University.

This is a rare opportunity to spend a day viewing and discussing three films on the issue of comfort women. The event will be led by Professor Hyangjin Lee from Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Professor Lee was formerly at Sheffield University and has recently completed a year at Harvard University (2015 Kim Koo Visiting Professor).

This event is FREE but booking is advisable.

Book free tickets for Saturday | See the official announcement page for Saturday

This event is organised by the following Partner Organisations:

Northeast History Foundation | Rikkyo University, Tokyo | Showroom Workstation

And in association with: Sheffield Hallam University


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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