Main content

The Apology

The Apology

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.

'It's not unusual for documentaries to infuriate viewers, but THE APOLOGY may be one of the most difficult and maddening films to screen over the years.' - POV

'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.' - Digital Journal


Main credits

Hsiung, Tiffany (film director)
Hsiung, Tiffany (screenwriter)
Gil, Won-Ok (on-screen participant)
Barroquillo, Adela Reyes (on-screen participant)
Cao, Hei Mao (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Producer, Anita Lee; director of photography, Tiffany Hsiung; editor, Mary Stephen; music, Lesley Barber.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
East Asia
History (Asia)
History (World)
Human Rights
Social Movements
Women's Studies
World War II


; "The Apology"; Icarus Films; comfort women; Japan; Philippines; China; human rights; World War II,comfort stations; prostitution; Asia;

Related Films

Senso Daughters

Investigates the Japanese army's mistreatment of New Guinean women and…

Mary & Myself

Honors the thousands of girls and women from Korea, China, Japan and the…