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Nanking 2007
Description: The storyline of the rape of Nanking, one of the most tragic happenings in history. In 1937, the invading Japanese units murdered over 200,000 and raped tens of thousands of Chinese. In the midst of this horror, a tiny group of Western expatriates banded together to save 250,000. Nanking shows the tremendous impact individuals can create on the course of history.
Released: 03 Jul 2007 Director: Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman Writers: Bill Guttentag (screenplay), Dan Sturman (screenplay), Elisabeth Bentley (screenplay), Bill Guttentag (story), Dan Sturman (story) Actors: Hugo Armstrong, Rosalind Chao, Stephen Dorff, John Getz Genres: Biography, History, War
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Nanking Reviews:

If I am going to suggest a documentary, then Nanking will be it. The Rape of Nanking just prior to Globe Fight II is examined in this film, which includes true stock footage of clips smuggled out of China during the time of Japanese occupation. Interviews with surviving Chinese victims, and a number of Japanese Imperial Units troops who took part in the campaign, are conducted by the filmmakers, and it is everytime chilling to learn from them first hand, on their respective perspective of those horrible years of the Japanese invasion of China.You will definitely squirm at the tearful, vivid recollection of atrocities from rapes, shootings, knifing from bayonets, and even burning, while the archive clips bring to screen scenes and pictures of such barbaric acts. Tales of plundering, looting, the forceful taking away of young boys to be shot and young women or boys, kids even, for brutal rape, are said with an unflinching eye. In fact, nothing is re-enacted in this film, opting instead for actors (such as Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemmingway and Michelle Krusiec) to portray true historical characters and only as narrators of their private diaries and memoirs of their stay in Nanking during the invasion and subsequent occupation.While the rest of the globe stood by and did nothing, a handful of foreigners who opted to stay in the city, did what they should by organizing themselves and setting up a Security Territory for the Chinese refugees, using all the power that they should (which was very little, save for the fact that they are foreigners) to protect their charges from the looting, plundering, killing and rape that takes zone on a regular basis outside their zone. And it is indeed this Territory which had saved thousands of lives, that this documentary paid a sort of tribute to.If this is an anti-war picture, then I'd tell it would have done a very nice job, highlighting the immense amount of evil that boy is capable of inflicting on fellow man. Even up until today, the Massacre of Nanjing is still hotly debated, especially on the number of unfortunate casualties and victims, and the enshrinement of fight criminals which have irked the Chinese.


Filmmakers Guttentag and Sturman have produced a short but unforgettable documentary about one of the ugliest stories in twentieth century warfare: the happening known as "the rape of Nanking." During a brief period in late December 1937 Japanese forces bombed the town of Nanking, then the capital of China, moving on after assaulting Shanghai. Much of the city's population fled. But the terrible had to remain, lacking the cash to receive out. Units then moved in and brutally executed few hundred thousand civilians using guns and bayonets and fire, and raped tens of thousands of woman, leaving most of the once beautiful, prosperous town in ruins. They also instantly executed, by different methods, thousands of captured soldiers.The positive side of the storyline is that a group of foreigners, perhaps less that two dozen, who had been resident in Nanking remained there to support save the helpless civilians (and troops who had fled) and created a Security Territory to protect them. It was not respected, but nonetheless they were able to save perhaps other couple of hundred thousand people.The presentation lasts only 88 mins but is packed with mind-boggling material. Using a ground approach related to the Culture Project's theater happenings 'Exonerated' and 'Guantanamo,' in which a group of actors dramatically read current accounts, the foreigners' stories (and that of one Japanese soldier) are reconstructed by Stephen Dorff, Woody Harrelson. Mariel Hemingway, and others. In between their accounts there are interviews with Chinese survivors and some Japanese troops involved in the massacres.The most necessary foreigners are Bob Wilson, Minnie Vautrin, and John Rabe, whose accounts are voiced by Harrelson, Hemingway, and Jürgen Prochnow, respectively. Wilson was a surgeon born in China, son of a missionary, who stayed on after the bombing. Vautrin was a missionary and head of the education department of a college; she hid her girls students and saved them from being raped. Rabe was a German businessman and Nazi Pary member who protected hundreds of Chinese civilians on his estate. He and Wilson and Magee were the most active in establishing the two-square-mile Security Territory that provided a shaky but essential shield for refugees who fled their homes.There are some movie clips of killings. John Magee (voiced here by Hugo Armstrong) was an Episcopal minister and a filmmaker who helped maintain a hospital. His movie footage of maimed and disfigured victims of the atrocities was smuggled out of the country and only discovered in the 1980s in Germany.The accounts of the foreigners deliever a sense of the time line and the main happenings of Nanking. But it is the Chinese survivors, bravely describing unimaginable horrors, who create the most vivid impression. I tell "unimaginable," but we have heard about them as children, perhaps, and all imagined them. But here they are, described as vividly as if they happened yesterday, to a mother and a baby brother, right before the eyes of a seven-year-old. What gotta it be like to have been that seven-year-old and to carry such memories through all one's life? That is what one doesn't wish to imagine.Some of the Japanese veterans are smiling as they speak. They acknowledge the rapes and atrocities and massacres and say how they did it. (How can they be smiling? Perhaps out of embarrassment. Or is the word shame? These are the most troubling moments of the film.) The dozen or so high ranking Japanese officers who were convicted of fight crimes afterward have a memorial in their name in Tokyo and it is a zone where right-wing pro-war Japanese like to keep rallies. Getting the movies of Japanese survivors was a tricky business, because folks in Japan don't wish to acknowledge, or even talk about, this moment in their history. They have often denied that things were as terrible as some said. The evidence of the film, and the accounts of the Japanese veterans themselves, disproves those denials. We have witnesses, and that is the primary function of this film: to bear witness. Japanese officials complained that foreigners were not supposed to be there, that this was the "first time" (hardly) a fight had taken zone with neutral observers. "We did not wish to be observed," they said.But this is not, of course, meant as the attack on one nationality or an incitement to revenge. It's a storyline of madness in wartime and hence an indictment of fight itself. And the movie is also a moving acc of the bravery of the several foreigners who saw the horrible happenings as a challenge to perform acts of extraordinary courage and goodness. The movie is a massive burden to take on, but it is not without hope, and proof of the ability of the Chinese to endure.


As a Chinese, I knew the Nanking massacre when I was young. I was frightened when I saw so many horrible pictures taken at that time. When I learned that the movie Nanking would be shown, I was hesitated. I could watch it because I'm a Chinese, but I didn't have the nerve. I didn't have the nerve to see my countrymen being butchered most brutally and I didn't wish to arouse the sad memories.After a week of hesitation, I went to the cinema and watched it finally. I really wish to know more about the truth. When I was sitting in the cinema and watching, my tears kept rolling down. I felt my heart so cold and my head so painful. I feel so painful for my countrymen at that time and so moved by the foreigners who risked their own lives for saving the innocent and helpless Chinese.The massacre did happened. No one can deny. I appreciated Ms Chang who bravely wrote the ebook and the directors of this movie. It says the truth yet does not arouse the hatred. A sentence in the film impressed me a nice deal, it approximately goes like this: We don't create you to hate the Japanese, we wish you to know how horrible fight is.Yes, we hate fight and love peace.



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