Dir. Guo Ke
In Mandarin and dialect with Chinese and English subtitles
Guo Ke follows his multiple-award winning short Thirty Two with the searching and highly moving documentary Twenty Two, which again focuses on the subject of Chinese ‘comfort women’ during World War II. At the time of filming, only 22 of the 200,000 Chinese victims forced into sexual slavery during World War II remained alive. Through a restrained and careful approach, Twenty Two offers a look at the current situation and lives of these 22 elderly women. Quietly humanistic, the engaging and challenging film follows the subjects as they go about their daily lives, listening to them talk about their experiences and their own perspectives on life, including both suffering and happiness. Skilfully avoiding becoming intrusive, Guo Ke’s film attempts to trace, assemble and preserve fragments of histories both factual and highly personal, and ensuring their voices are heard. With a strong sense of character and obvious investment in its subject matter, the film invites the viewer to listen to the stories of these women, and pays tribute to their bravery.