The Apology

Directed by Tiffany Hsiung

104 minutes / Color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2016

Winner of a Peabody award, a duPont-Columbia award, and named Best Documentary at the Busan International Film Festival, THE APOLOGY follows the personal journeys of three former "comfort women" who were among the 200,000 girls and young women kidnapped and forced into military sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

Seventy years after their imprisonment in so-called "comfort stations," Grandma Gil in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in the Philippines are facing their twilight years. After decades of living in silence and shame about their experiences of institutionalized rape and sexual slavery, in THE APOLOGY they give first-hand accounts of the truth. They are seeking an apology, and hope that this horrific chapter of history will not be forgotten.

To bring THE APOLOGY to the screen, director Tiffany Hsiung enlisted an all female team (including Mary Stephens, editor of Lixin Fan's film Last Train Home). Hsiung drew on devastating personal experience as well as six years spent documenting the lives of survivors of military sexual assault during WWII.

"An incredibly moving, emotional film. The plight of the so-called 'Comfort Women' who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II has seldom been told so powerfully." BBC News

"A powerful, intimate portrait."San Francisco Chronicle

"A must-see for everyone! Truly inspiring; an outstanding documentary."Asian Movie Pulse

"A moving testament to all women who have suffered and survived similar atrocities." Film Journal International

"A landmark film for its subject matter and the sensitivity with which Hsiung approaches it, 'The Apology' is one of the best films ever produced by the NFB." POV Magazine

"They should sell Kleenex instead of popcorn at theaters showing ['The Apology']. This powerful documentary is alternately harrowing and uplifting, and always emotionally devastating." The Hollywood Reporter

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A film by Tiffany Hsiung

Select Accolades

  • Best Documentary, Peabody Award 2019
  • Winner, duPont-Columbia Award
  • Best Documentary, LA Women's International Film Festival 2018
  • Best Documentary, Busan International Film Festival 2016
  • Excellence in Documentary Nominee, Directors Guild of Canada Awards 2017
  • Audience Award, Cork International Film Festival 2016
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2017


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