Descriptions Habitual Sadness
In World War II Japan forced many South Korean girls into sexual slavery. Known as “comfort woman,” they were abducted as teenagers and shipped off to the front to service as many as 30 troopers a day. In 1991, some of them began testifying about their experiences. Byun Young-Joo worked with such women for two years on her previous film The Murmuring, a documentary which broke nearly a half century of silence on the subject and was screened at the Amnesty International Film Festival in 1996. A “sharing house” was then established for former comfort women and provided the setting for Habitual Sadness, a documentary showing the enduring wounds but strong spirit of these women. Habitual Sadness as the second film in the “murmuring” trilogy was a major success in South Korea and a hit at the Hong Kong Film Festival.