The New York Times and International Herald Tribune have just published a story on prostitution in S. Korea. While making this film I looked back to the history of prostitution in Korea, and found everything in the article to be true. Most of the time I would search, I would only find articles on “Comfort Women”, so it is good to have this article shed light on Korea and the United State’s participation in Korea’s domestic prostitution.
Of the 3 women I followed, 2 of them grew up in Korea. “Heather” the main character in the documentary, came to the United States in the 90’s after the international monetary fund crisis. “Jen” met a man working on a US base. She came to the US being disowned by her family.
Of all the footage I have in the film, I must say the footage of Korea is most disturbing. I did not film it myself. (I met a guy through myspace, and he filmed and sent the tapes to me.) It was difficult to get anyone to film in Korea, and eventually when I did get someone to film, they were attacked.
I have been to Amsterdam, I have seen the red-light district, but in Korea it is different. In some sections they have barber-poles letting you know there are women available inside. In other sections there are streets that seem like they have garage after garage filled with women. The only opening is a window where you can see 10-15 faces of women for sale.
I don’t know how the women in South Korea are treated, I did not see that first hand, but pictures say a thousand words. If anything, the women from South Korea who work in RI had great living conditions. Satellite TV, a cook, a bar-b-que area, if it wasn’t for the job I would say they had a better living condition than I had. And as for the government’s participation in RI’s prostitution, well I guess that depends on if you consider being a customer participating?