A film on six Taiwan comfort women and the courage they demonstrated in finding inner peace during the last years of their lives is set for release Aug. 14 nationwide.
“Song of the Reed” tells the stories of Taiwan women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II. Shot between 2011 and 2012, the documentary is part of activities marking International Memorial Day for the Comfort Women.
Director Wu Hsiu-ching said the film differs from 1998’s groundbreaking “A Secret Buried For 50 Years—A Story of Taiwanese Comfort Women” in that it shows how these individuals tackled emotional traumas with the assistance of psychological councilors and social workers at Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation.
“Despite the pain they suffered during the war, and lack of support from society and family members once the conflict ended, these inspiring figures proved that bravery and love can give rise to tremendous strength,” Wu said.
In the film, one of the women finds solace in religion, while another achieves her goal of becoming a singer. Many are photographed wearing work uniforms or wedding dresses, symbolizing dreams forever unfulfilled due to wartime experiences.
According to Wu, four of the survivors passed away post-filming, making the documentary even more poignant. “I am grateful for the rare opportunity to be part of their remarkable lives,” she said.
First screened in Taiwan, Japan and the U.S. two years ago, the production was shortlisted at Taiwan’s Women Make Waves Film Festival in 2014 and won an International Golden Panda Award for Documentary the same year. (SFC-JSM)
Source: Taiwan Today