The filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung discusses her critically acclaimed first feature The Apology, a film that follows three grandmothers seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government for their enslavement as ‘comfort women’ during World War II, with Joseph Planta.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
One of the more powerful films you’ll see is The Apology, the documentary from Tiffany Hsiung. The award-winning National Film Board production had two screenings in Vancouver this past weekend, and you can still catch it in Toronto at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. It’s playing to the end of the week, and at the Tuesday and Thursday screenings Hsiung will be taking questions from the audience. The film looks at the journeys of three women, three “grandmothers” who after some seventy years after World War II are seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government for their enslavement as so-called ‘comfort women.’ There were some 200,000 girls throughout Asia kidnapped and violently raped by the Imperial Japanese Army. This film follows Grandma Gil from South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in The Philippines. What Tiffany has done in this film is revealed the brutality they faced as well as the painful path to finding the courage to tell their stories publicly, not to mention their families. The film is heartbreaking and moving, but also uplifting as you see these three elderly women finally reveal their past, and how they rededicate themselves to making sure future generations do not forget this horrific time in human history. The Apology is produced by Anita Lee, and had its premiere at the 2016 Hot Docs festival, where it received good notices, among them raves from the Globe and Mail and The Hollywood Reporter. And it’s gotten a few awards already. Tiffany Hsiung is a graduate from Ryerson, where she studied film production. She received the Norman Jewison Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. Her award-winning short film Binding Borders screened internationally and propelled her to direct the RCI/CBC six-part miniseries on the Beijing Olympic Games, A New Face for Beijing. The Twitter handle is @TheApologyDoc. Soon, you’ll be able to see this film on demand and I’m sure from iTunes. Do see it, it’s such a good film. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, in person today, Tiffany Hsiung; Ms. Hsiung, good morning.