Movie Night: Flowers of War

I remember the first time my great-grandmother told me about her sister who was taken by Japanese soldiers during their occupation of Korea in the early 1900s. She was kidnapped by some rogue soldiers who proceeded to force her into becoming a "comfort girl." My grand-grandmother recalled with tears in her eyes that sometimes 15 men would line up in front of a tent, waiting for their turn at the comfort girl, one after another.
I never truly could comprehend the atrocities of war because I never saw it happen. Until I saw Flowers of War, that is.
Flowers of War is familiar in story but unfamiliar in feel. Maybe it's because we hold all soldiers more accountable than they did back then. Maybe it's because we don't want to think about the awful things that happen when there's a war. Or maybe we just don't care, but Flowers of War made me care. It made me think about what my great-aunt went through. It made me think of all the lives that were ruined by systematic sexual assault. It made me think of all the soldiers who were just trying to protect their countrymen. 
The thing is, though, I'm so naïve to say that it is exclusively one group of people responsible for raping and pillaging. Sure, in the movie, the Japanese soldiers were the ones seen raping innocent civillians, but war crimes happen by people from all over the world. If anything this made me think that we should all be held accountable for our actions, rather than look to blame a single group of people for a crime many other countries are guilty of committing as well. 
Flowers of War is the story of 13 young girls who are to be sent away to become sex workers for the Japanese military during the Nanking Massacre. Christian Bale plays a mortician who pretends to be the priest of a cathedral to help protect the girls. The young girls meet a group of prostitutes who decide to go to the Japanese military in their stead. It is a story of friendship, trust, and change for the better
In any case, I recommend Flowers of War to any history buff - it's a beautifully moving story set in the background of a terribly tragic moment in history. 

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