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Film on 'comfort women' draws 2.2 mln viewers in 10 days

All Headlines 15:44 March 05, 2016

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- A film depicting the lives of women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II has drawn more than 2.2 million viewers since its release 10 days ago, box-office data showed Saturday.

"Spirits' Homecoming" attracted 101,908 moviegoers Friday, bringing the accumulated total to 2,229,205, according to the data.

Much of the film's popularity can be attributed to the ongoing controversy over last year's agreement between South Korea and Japan to resolve the issue of the "comfort women," film critics said.

"It's an expression of the public's guilty conscience toward the victims, their self-examination, and the frustration and anger over the South Korean and Japanese governments' hasty deal," said film critic Oh Dong-jin.

Directed by Cho Jung-lae, the movie tells the painful testimonies of the women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the war. Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, suffered from the atrocity. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910-45.

Despite budget shortages and other initial difficulties, the film was completed 14 years after production began with the support and donations of more than 75,000 people.

The movie is set to open in cinemas in the United States next month, while Korean communities and college groups in other countries, including Canada, Britain and France, have also requested its local release.
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