Posts Tagged ‘comfort women’

Asia Society Film Recap: Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters (dir. Ban Zhongyi)

Continuing our recap of the Asia Society series “China’s Past, Present and Future on Film,” here is an excerpt from a full-length review by Joe Bendel of Ban Zhongyi’s groundbreaking documentary Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters:

Her name was Hou Dong E, but she was known as “Gai Shanxi,” meaning “the most beautiful woman in Shanxi Province.” Unfortunately, beauty can be a curse in a time of war. Such was certainly the case for Gai Shanxi and the other Shanxi women forced to serve as sex slaves for the occupying Imperial Japanese military during World War II. Though she never had the chance to bear witness to the atrocities she suffered, Ban Zhongyi tells the story of the former so-called “comfort woman” on her behalf in his documentary, Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters.

Though many in Japan still persistently deny “comfort women” were systematically sexually assaulted, Ban found one Japanese veteran who essentially confirms on-camera the nature and regularity of such crimes (though he understandably tries to minimize his own culpability). That alone makes Ban’s film quite an important cinematic investigation.

Ultimately, Sisters acts as a testament to a truly beautiful woman, who should have been venerated by her community in her own lifetime. Though its execution is imperfect, it is an important, sometimes angry film that should not be ignored.

Read the full review.

Find out more about Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters.

Watch clips from Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters below:

Groundbreaking Documentary Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters at Asia Society

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

by Isabel Cai and Kevin B. Lee

Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters (dir. Ban Zhongyi)

Ban Zhongyi’s documentary Gan Shanxi and Her Sisters, an important documentary about an extraordinary woman forced to serve as a sex slave during World War II, will screen at Asia Society this Friday, April 9, 2010 as part of the society’s “China’s Past, Present, and Future on Film” program. dGenerate Films’ Karin Chien will introduce the screening.

You can use discount code asia725 to buy tickets at the $7 member rate. Tickets can be purchased at the Asia Society website or at the Asia Society box office.

Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters (Gai Shan Xi He Ta De Jie Mei Men)
BAN Zhongyi. China. 2007. Documentary. 80 min. Digibeta.
Friday, April 9, 6:45 pm

The screening of Gai Shanxi comes on a wave of resurgent interest in the Japanese Occupation of China during WWII, as well as the treatment of women during the Occupation, as depicted in at least two recent notable films. How does Gai Shanxi compare? Read on, and watch a clip, after the break.