Now streaming: ‘The Apology’

Courtesy of the NFB


By Pat Mullen

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when The Apology premiered at Hot Docs last year. Tiffany Hsiung’s exceptionally powerful debut feature profiles three “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II. These women, known affectionately as “grandmothers” by the younger generation, seek acknowledgement and an official apology from the Japanese government before its two late.

If The Apology was effective a year ago, it is doubly so now on the heels of the #MeToo movement as survivors of sexual assault and harassment give voice to their experiences and collectively say that enough is enough. These brave grandmothers are the original silence breakers and the current spirit continues their fight. Audiences might find The Apology a difficult film, particularly in the context of the wave of change going beyond Hollywood, but it’s a necessary one.

“The sense of release and the swelling feeling of catharsis are overwhelming as the film reminds audiences to respect the rights and experiences of survivor,” we wrote back at Hot Docs. “It implores audiences simply to listen.”

Read more about the film and its production in the profile The Apology: complexity and visibility’.

The Apology is now available to stream at TVO. The film also inspired the interactive documentary The Space We Hold, which is currently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.

Watch The Apology here on TVO.