Time alone does not heal all wounds, if the 20-year fight for an apology from Japan for forcing Taiwanese women into sexual slavery — the subject of a new documentary — is any indication.
Song of the Reed, set to premier in Taipei today, chronicles the later years of six former “comfort women” — referring to women across Asia forced to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers — and details their stories of getting on with life while demanding justice.
“They transformed their role of ‘victims’ into ‘fighters for life,’” said Kang Shu-hua (康淑華), executive director at Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation, the group behind the documentary.
The film was in a race against time after shooting began in 2010, as the women it portrays were all nearly 90 years old. Four of the six women documented in the film passed away before its release.
Today’s showing will be attended by the two surviving women.
The foundation also plans to show the film in Taichung and other parts of Taiwan.
The Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation has spent two decades helping women come to terms with the scars of the past, and seek justice and compensation from Japan.
More than 2,000 Taiwanese women were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army around the time of World War II, according to the foundation.