Unreported World

/Directed by Nancy Roberts

/Documentary for Unreported World, Channel 4

/2021

Unreported World follows one of the last survivors of the so-called “comfort stations” in wartime Asia, where hundreds of thousands of women were forced into sexual slavery and exploitation by the Japanese military. Now the 92-year-old campaigner wants justice before it’s too late.

In 1943, Yong-soo Lee was just 14 years old when she was taken from her home and family in Korea by Japanese soldiers to become a “comfort woman”, a euphemistic term often used to describe Japan’s military sex slaves. Having lived in shame for decades, Lee has broken her silence and made it her mission to relentlessly fight for justice.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy follows the campaigner, known affectionately as Grandma Lee, as she makes her way from her home in Daegu, to South Korea’s capital in Seoul. On their journey Lee recounts how she was kidnapped and beaten by her captors. She meets some of the few surviving South Korean women, who now number only 13, and vows to get an official apology from the Japanese government, which denies it has any legal responsibility towards the survivors.