The screenplay was written by the book’s author so that the characters, emotion, themes and plot are consistent with the book. Based on the screenplay and a loose, epic-story style, the film will be about 2hrs. 20mins. long.
The screenplay is done in a framed-narrative (a story within a story) There are X acts.
Act One: Present Time. 12 minutes. Anna, a 20-year-old born in Korea and adopted by an American couple as a baby has travelled to Korea to meet her birthmother. She learns her birthmother has died and is given a magnificent antique comb with an ivory inlay of a two-headed dragon and instructions to meet Hong, Jae-hee her Korean grandmother to hear her story and learn about the comb.
Act Two: 1943 - 1945. 38 minutes. Jae-hee’s story about how she and her older sister are taken from their farm in northern Korea to be a sex slaves to the Japanese army during WWII. Before leaving home, their mother gives them the comb and tells them it must be passed on to one of their daughters. The sisters suffer terribly at the hands of the Japanese and, as the war ends, the sisters are separated.
Act Three: 1945 – 1949. 35 minutes. After the Japanese surrender, Jae-hee returns home to find her parents are dead. She falls in love with a communist idealist. He tells her about the significance of the comb. As North Korea falls under the spell of Kim, Il-sun, Jae-hee’s lover is taken away by the communists and she is forced to escape to South Korea.
Act Four: 1954 – 1987. 40 minutes. Jae-hee runs a brothel for the American military after the Korean War but an American Colonel gets a job for her at a construction company in Seoul. She thrives there, but eventually her secret of being a comfort woman is revealed and she is thrown into poverty. She is tempted to sell the comb. Her daughter dies giving birth to Anna and Jae-hee gives her up for adoption hoping to see her again someday so she can pass on the comb.
Act Five: Present Time. 15 minutes. After hearing her grandmother’s story, Anna vows to help her meet her sister who lives in North Korea. She returns to the US, and is able to arrange a meeting between the sisters. She goes back to Korea and helps her elderly grandmother meet her sister again.
- Anna Carlson A Korean-born woman who was adopted to an American family as an infant. After the death of her American mother, Anna is being ripped apart by forces she doesn’t understand. She has come to Korea to search for answers.
- Hong, Jae-hee Anna’s biological grandmother who tells Anna her life story. During WWII Jae-hee is a beautiful, smart but immature girl before she’s taken from her home and forced to be a sex slave for the Japanese. Jae-hee is broken by what she must do to stay alive. As she rebuilds her life, she learns the value of courage, strength and honor. A strong Confucianist, Jae-hee is fiercely loyal to her family, country and Korean traditions. As an old woman, she is wise, strong and compassionate. In spite of her awful life, she has found peace.
- Lieutenant Tanaka The sharp-nosed Japanese Kempei-tai officer in charge of Ja-hee’s comfort station. Tanaka is horribly cruel to the comfort women, but believes he’s justified because he is fulfilling his duty to Japan and the soldiers his comfort station serves. He doesn’t realize that his blind dedication has turned him into a monster.
- Hong, Soo-hee Ja-hee’s humble, homely older sister – her onni. Soo-hee is a gentle mother figure, mature and wise. She teaches Ja-hee and the girls in the comfort station how to survive. Because she’s willing to sacrifice everything for Ja-hee and the Korean girls, Soo-hee is horribly abused by Lieutenant Tanaka.
- Colonel Matsumoto The CO in charge of the regiment that Ja-hee’s comfort station serves. The Colonel is square-shouldered and commanding, yet inside he’s conflicted about the war. He wants to believe in the Japanese vision of a grand Asian empire, but he realizes the horrible things his country is doing. Still, he must remain a good soldier. Matsumoto is attracted to Ja-hee and consistently rapes her, but he feels guilty about it.
- Pak, Jin-mo Ja-hee’s handsome lover in communist north Korea after WWII. With liquid-soft eyes, Jin-mo is compassionate and kind. He’s an idealist, and has studied history and politics. His prized possession is The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx translated into Hangul. He yearns for Korea to unite after WWII and proposes compromises to the communist platform to make it happen. When Jin-mo realizes that Korea will be a divided nation and that everything he believed in is a lie, it drives him mad.
- Hong, Soo-bo Ja-hee’s daughter from Jin-mo. Soo-bo is small, physically weak and subject to dark moods. She’s completely dependent on Ja-hee and does what her mother tells her to do.
- Colonel Crawford A tall, handsome one-armed American colonel stationed in Korea after the Korean War. Crawford is an American idealist. He’s always well dressed with the empty sleeve of his uniform neatly pinned up. He only sees the American perspective and refuses to acknowledge the similarities between American and Japanese imperialism that Ja-hee points out to him. Crawford is a Southern gentleman who wants to teach Ja-hee how to do ballroom dancing.
- Choi, Chul-sun A nerdy accountant at the South Korean construction company where Ja-hee works. Chul-sun is awkward and unattractive. He’s in love with Ja-hee and wants to marry her. But ultimately, like a good Korean, upholding his honor is what’s most important to him.
- Females age 35 to 64 Human rights advocates/ women's rights advocates HHI $ 75,000+
- College educated
- Generally, a broad audience
- Those interested in current events
- Those who want to learn as well as be entertained
- Politically left-leaning
Additional Target Markets:
- Korean-Americans. There are currently 2.5 million Americans with a Korean heritage living in the United States. They tend to be very highly educated.
- People with an adoption connection. As of 2008, there were more than 2 million adoptees in the U.S.
- Those interested in human rights issues, specifically and sexual slavery.
- Those interested in Asian issues. Daughters of the Dragon will help the reader understand many of the current tensions between Asian countries.