The Apology

1 h 44 min
Tiffany Hsiung

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. Some 70 years after their imprisonment in so-called “comfort stations,” the three “grandmothers”– Grandma Gil in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Grandma Adela in the Philippines – face their twilight years in fading health. After decades of living in silence and shame about their past, they know that time is running out to give a first-hand account of the truth and ensure that this horrific chapter of history is not forgotten. Whether they are seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government or summoning the courage to finally share their secret with loved ones, their resolve moves them forward as they seize this last chance to set future generations on a course for reconciliation, healing, and justice.

Watch the interactive web project based on this documentary, The Space We Hold

Awards and distinctions

  • Doc:South Award 2017 Films from the South Festival - Oslo, 2019
  • Best Documentary Feature Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival - Los Angeles, 2018
  • Best Feature Film Award Seattle Asian American Film Festival - Seattle, 2018
  • Best Documentary Award LA Philippines International Film Festival - Los Angeles, 2017
  • Best Canadian Feature NorthWestFest - Edmonton, 2017
  • Film of the Year Award IDF West Lake International Documentary Festival - Hangzhou, 2017
  • Audience Award International Female Film Festival - Malmö, 2017
  • Special Jury Mention Award for the UNESCO Gandhi Medal International Film Festival of India - Goa, 2016
  • Audience Award Cork Film Festival - Cork, 2016
  • Best of Festival Zonta Film Festival - Kitchener, 2016
  • Busan Cinephile Award International Film Festival - Busan, 2016