SHORT FILM - 2018
In a WWII internment camp in Indonesia, Jeanne and a group of Dutch women and children face a daily struggle against abuse, disease and starvation. Meanwhile, the Camp Commandant’s beloved white fluffy cat is fed fresh juicy meat….
In a WWII internment camp in Indonesia, Jan and a group of Dutch women and children face a daily struggle against abuse, disease and starvation. The Japanese Camp Commandant and his beloved, fluffy white cat, oversee the gruelling camp regime. Jan is a brave but impulsive young woman, and when she acts out of desperation to save a little girl’s life, her actions bring consequences upon the whole camp. What is the price for a meal when women and children are starving?
Ruby Challenger Directed, Produced, Co-wrote and starred as Jan in this recreation of her grandmother’s story. Shot entirely in Japanese and Dutch language, Daily Bread’s cast were brought together for intensive rehearsals, allowing the fluidity of power relationships to be thoroughly explored. The historic courtyard at Scheyville National Park in New South Wales, provided a stunning backdrop to recreate the Japanese camp in Indonesia.
The short film is based on an extract from Jan’s autobiography, Fifty Years of Silence, published by Penguin/Random House and translated into six languages. Challenger is Jan’s granddaughter and she has grown up with her grandmother in the spotlight, after Jan publicly spoke out in the early 1990s, revealing that she was forcibly taken as a sex slave by the Japanese military during WWII. For twenty-five years, Jan has been an advocate for women’s rights in wartime, speaking at hearings around the world, including the Washington Congress.