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"Nanking" tells the story of the rape of Nanking, one of the most tragic events in history. In 1937, the invading Japanese army murdered over 200,000 and raped tens of thousands of Chinese. In the midst of the horror, a small group of Western expatriates banded together to save 250,000 -- an act of extraordinary heroism. Bringing an event little-known outside of Asia to a global audience, "Nanking" shows the tremendous impact individuals can make on the course of history. It is a gripping account of light in the darkest of times. Written by
Indisputable documentation filled with tremendous lessons essential to improving humanity
Typically I wait a day to two before writing a review on a film in order to gain a deeper understanding and rationalization before reacting. In the case of this film, I'll make an exception to this practice.
I've studied genocide and violence at the university level and my awareness of the horrors that struck Nanking in Decemeber of 1937 are well beyond superficial. This film is an absolute must-view for those driven to bringer greater peace, justice, and truth to the world regardless of heritage.
Of course there will always be a swell of controversy among descendants of Japanese and Chinese heritage, which is an unquestionable shame, especially for those in the former group. The list of excuses, denials, and sophisticated cover-up I've often witnessed, firsthand, by many of my Japanese-American friends is disgusting. However, I am not interested in fueling a debate inspired by closeted nationalism, racial/ethnic pride, and partial history, the end results have so often led to circular frustration beyond comprehension. The evidence of the "Nanking Genocide (not massacre) is overwhelming and indisputable. These realities are clearly demonstrated throughout this emotionally paralyzing film. I would further declare that any person of Japanese lineage strong enough to view this film will undeniably depart with a shaken conscious.
Effectively, "Nanking" utilizes written, verbatim historical documentation, mostly from Western figures who were present during the swift and unforgettable tragedy of December 1937. People who thankfully recorded their experiences by pen and further confronted the horrors of the Japanese army with unbelievable courage. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Throughout this spirit-crushing reel, the historical dialogue is channeled via familiar Hollywood actors, and actual survivors of the genocide - all genuinely driven by objective, therapeutic, and moral-seeking resolve. While the dialogue strikes deep, archival footage is shown, a good deal of it pulled from Japanese sources - see end credits for reference. Also, without detail, you will be amazed at the number of ironies that unfold in "Nanking."
Tears built and inevitably rolled down my face many times throughout "Nanking" as I couldn't help but think of the numerous countries complicit in Nanking's spiral into hell, and the subsequent genocide's that have transpired since. One being Darfur, Sudan which continues at this very moment. Even more, the denial by people, especially with Japanese heritage, is just utterly perplexing and beyond tragic.
I'll refrain from further analysis and opinion only to suggest that you find courage in your moral capacity to spend roughly two hours of a day with a good friend or family member to see this film of monumental tragedy and courageous heroism. We cannot call ourselves human without facing the wickedness within. The soul requires to be wholly cleansed from time to time. Nanking has such effects/affects.
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