Synopsis by Mark Deming
During World War II, the Japanese military recruited approximately 200,000 women from over a dozen countries to serve as "comfort women" -- official prostitutes for Japanese soldiers -- against their will. Believing that military-run brothels would help prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases and cut down on the rape of civilian women, Japanese forces took thousands of women captive who were made sexual slaves for their men in uniform. After Japan surrendered to Allied forces, the American government was inexplicably reluctant to prosecute those responsible for the "comfort women" program as war criminals, and over six decades after the end of the war activists are still trying to pressure the Japanese government to issue an official apology for their actions and offer reparations to the women victimized by Axis forces. Documentary filmmaker Kim Dong-won allows five surviving "comfort women" to tell their harrowing true stories in the documentary Ggeutnaji Anhmeun Jeon Jaeng (aka 63 Years On), which focuses on their individual experiences as well as the history of the "comfort women" program and the efforts to bring its terrible secrets to light.