I know a little bit about the Korean comfort women of World War II from Korean history classes, and World War II classes in general, but of course, I don’t have any inkling of what really happened back then. You can read as much literature as you want on the subject, but until you actually live through it, you don’t really know anything. The documentary “Behind Forgotten Eyes”, by documentarian Anthony Gilmore, seeks to open your eyes to the history of the Korean comfort women. The documentary is narrated by “Lost’s” Yunjin Kim, which should ensure the film gets some attention outside of Korea.
Narrated by “LOST’s” Yunjin Kim, Behind Forgotten Eyes presents the stories of a few brave women who came forward and broke the silence protecting a past that some want to stay buried. What are these stories that were hidden for so long? Whilst Korea groaned under the harsh colonial rule of Imperial Japan, the Japanese military coerced, tricked, and forced the women of Korea into a brutal and systematic form of sexual slavery on an unimaginable scale. During colonial Japan’s wars, the Japanese military procured more than 200,000 Korean girls and women to serve as sexual slaves. Forbidden to leave the rickety shacks hastily constructed near the front lines of Imperial Japan’s aggressive wars, often with a blanket as the room’s only “furniture”, they were forced to have sex with some 30-40 men every day.
To this day, the Japanese government has yet to formally apologize or pay compensation to these women. This film touches not only on the past but also the vital lesson that history must not be allowed to repeat itself. Behind Forgotten Eyes examines the enduring legacy of this horrifying chapter of history in both Korea and Japan. As the first English-language film to tackle this volatile issue, Behind Forgotten Eyes aims to focus the world’s attention on this unsettled aspect of Japan’s colonial heritage and to educate an American public unfamiliar with East Asian history and modern society. Behind Forgotten Eyes combines first-hand accounts from both Korean women and Japanese soldiers who lived through the nightmare with the expert testimony of academics, social activists, and professionals from Japan, Korea, and the United States to offer a candid look into an issue that has been ignored for far too long. Time is running out for these women and their stories.
“Behind Forgotten Eyes” has been picked up for distrubition by Horizon Motion Pictures, but at present there doesn’t seem to be a release date.
Here’s the trailer for “Behind Forgotten Eyes”: