Six elderly women gather outside the Japanese embassy of Seoul. Once forced into sexual labour at the hands of the Japanese army during World War II, these survivors are finally breaking their silence.
In Najeun moksori (The Murmuring), Byun Young-joo, a founding member of the Parituh collective, documents the lives of six elderly women who reside in a communal house in Seoul. All are survivors of forced sexual labour at the hands of the Japanese army during World War II, so-called comfort women; each week they gather with others outside the Japanese embassy to demand a formal apology and compensation for their suffering. Breaking decades of silence, here the women tell their stories, intertwining personal and national traumas. Najeun moksori is the first instalment in Byun’s celebrated trilogy on the subject, followed by Najeun moksori 2 ( Habitual Sadness, 1997) and Sumgyeol – Najeun moksori 3 (My Own Breathing, 1999).
Part of No Master Territories: Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image, a screening series dedicated to works of nonfiction that invent new languages for the representation of gendered experience. Concentrating on the period of the 1970s to 1990s, a time when women’s liberation movements took hold internationally, it responds to the contemporary imperative to recover the breadth of women’s contributions to film history in a global context.