A film based on the horrors experienced by "comfort women" in Japanese military brothels during World War II, whose doubtful commercial appeal meant it took 14 years and the contributions of 75,000 individual donors to complete, is top of the box office in South Korea.

Cho Jung-rae, who directed "Spirits' Homecoming," was inspired in 2002 to make the film when he saw the drawing "Burning Women," made during a therapy session at a shelter for elderly former comfort women by Kang Il-chul, who said she was taken away by Japanese soldiers when she was 16.

At the time, Cho was a volunteer at the shelter, the House of Sharing.