Journey for Lotus

Journey for Lotus

Release date:

2001

Running time:

59 minutes

Formats:

Available on DVDAvailable on VHS

Closed Captioned:

No

Availability in North America:

Available in Canada

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  • Audience level:
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
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  • Adult
  • General

From 1910 to 1945, Korea was annexed and occupied by Japan, during a repressive era that saw thousands of Korean activists tortured and killed. In the largest political demonstration of its time, March 1st, 1919 saw two million Koreans peacefully protest the Japanese occupation. 7,000 of these demonstrators were killed and 45,000 arrested. Throughout this period, young Korean girls were taken from their families and forced into prostitution. These "comfort women" served the occupying Japanese force, often with no choice but to accompany soldiers into the trenches. Outside of Korea, few people today ever learn the details of this history.

In Journey for Lotus, Canadian-born director Eunhee Cha takes a moving personal journey, exploring this history not only within the Korean community, but also giving space to the Japanese experience. With a balanced hand, she paints a portrait of both Korean resistance heroes and Japanese individuals who risked kindness to Koreans during this harsh period. She meets the elderly Nam Dong-Soon, a Korean woman arrested and tortured in the early days of occupation, who survived to devote herself to raising orphans. Through her research, she also encounters the grandson of Okawa-san, a Japanese policeman who helped over 300 Koreans escape safely after a 1923 earthquake sparked hysteria over the presence of Koreans in Tokyo.

In the end, Journey for Lotus tells a tale of human courage and sacrifice in dramatic times, a tale that stimulates greater awareness and understanding.

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