50 Years of Silence - DVD
A film by Ned Lander, Carol Ruff and James Bradley
Between 1929 and 1945 the Japanese Government, on advice from its military, forcibly removed thousands of young women and girls from their homes to provide sexual services as "comfort women" to the Japanese Army. After seeing Korean women making appeals for justice on television, Jan Ruff-O’Herne decided to break her fifty year silence about her own experience of enforced prostitution in occupied Java during the Second World War. Jan’s story spans five generations from a colonial life in Java, recorded on old home movies, through the war to a new start in England as a young bride and her migration, with her family, to Australia. It shows her extraordinary courage and dignity being the first European woman to go public with this issue. After travelling to Tokyo to give evidence at an international public hearing and making headline news throughout the world, Jan continued to Holland to meet with other Dutch women who were similarly enslaved. Inspired by her example they too decided to make their stories public. This outstanding documentary tells Jan's story with grace and power and shows how a suburban grandmother changed recorded history and became an inspiration to others through her faith, courage and inner strength. Classified M (Adult themes), all regions, PAL, duration 56 minutes.