‘Spirits’ Homecoming’ to show at U.S. schools

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‘Spirits’ Homecoming’ to show at U.S. schools

A movie based on the true stories of former Japanese military sex slaves, “Spirits’ Homecoming” (2015), will be screened in prestigious universities in the United States, including Yale, Columbia and New York University, where two former so-called comfort women will share some of their experiences as well.

Many U.S. universities, including Harvard, requested that members of the House of Sharing, home to surviving comfort women, visit and share their personal stories. Due to time constraints, however, the institution and the movie crews will be making stops at only a few locations, said Ahn Shin-kwon, the head of House of Sharing.

“Spirits’ Homecoming,” starting from March 11, is also being specially screened in theaters in Los Angeles and Dallas and as well as being made available online in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

To attend the premier in the United States, the movie crew and Yi Ok-seon, 90, and Kang Il-chul, 89, two survivors of Japanese sexual slavery, will be flying to Dallas and New York on Thursday and Friday, reported Yonhap.

The two women will have a face-to-face talk with Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Grace Meng, a congresswoman from the Democratic Party, on April 14 in New York. On April 17 they will move to Dallas, where they will meet with the Association of Korean Residents and have an interview with a Vietnamese television program.

The film was produced by director Cho Jung-rae, who was inspired to make it after he saw a drawing done by Kang that depicted girls being sexually enslaved by the Japanese military and burned to death. The movie is based on the personal testimonies of the surviving comfort women.

With about 344 million won ($297,600) in donations from over 75,000 Koreans, and the voluntary work of actors and production staff members, the movie was successfully released in 2015, 14 years after the start of the movie’s production. The movie became a box-office hit in Korea, attracting more than 3.5 million viewers.

BY SHIN SOO-YEON [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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