The Murmuring Young-Joo Byun: Film Analysis

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The Murmuring, directed by Young-joo Byun, is a documentary film that depicts the narratives of several comfort women who worked at sexual labor camps during Japanese colonialism. The film portrays the past and present lives of comfort women, describing how they were abducted by Japanese soldiers and forced to perform sexual servitude at the Japanese military camps. Overall, the film criticizes Japan for conducting this lewd, sadistic military-coerced sexual slavery, which also raises a sense of national solidarity among Koreans to fight against Japan to regain their national pride. The film portrays domination by portraying Japanese-enforced paternalism and masculinist sexism. As we listen to the narratives of comfort women, we learn that…show more content…
In the reading from Sarah Soh, she argues that the primary motive for the comfort women to leave their homes was the severe practice of heteropatriarchy performed at home. These women left to pursue their independence from their suffocating homes and continue their education, hoping to live as modern women. However, they ended up in the hands of the recruiters and became comfort women. Her argument contradicts to what the film portrays because she explains that not all Korean women were forced by Japanese soldiers to leave their homes to serve as comfort women. For example, Mun Pil-gi, one of the comfort women, left home because she could not endure her father’s physical abuse for going to school (Soh 82). Another comfort woman, Kim Ok-sil, had a strong desire to be a kisaeng because she could sing and dance since the oppressive atmosphere forbidden her to do anything (Soh 89). The predominant motive for these women to leave their homes and end up as comfort women was the gender inequality and subjugation of women caused by the heteropatriarchal society. On the contrary, the film portrays only the forcible recruitment led by Japanese soldiers and disregards the severe heteropatriarchal practice as a potential factor that caused several young women to leave their

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