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City of Life and Death (2009)

Nanjing! Nanjing! (original title)
1:23 | Trailer
In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone.



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Credited cast:
Lu Jianxiong
Miss Jiang
Hideo Nakaizumi ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mr. Tang
Yiyan Jiang ...
Xiao Jiang
Ryu Kohata ...
Ida (as Kohata Ryuichi)
Bin Liu ...
Yûko Miyamoto
John Paisley ...
Beverly Peckous ...
Lan Qin ...
Mrs. Tang
Durdin (as You Sima)
Di Yao ...
Tang Xiaomei
Yisui Zhao ...


In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for wartime violence and atrocities including sexual assault, and for some sexuality and brief nudity | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




| | |

Release Date:

22 April 2009 (China)  »

Also Known As:

City of Life and Death  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,610 (USA) (13 May 2011)


$119,922 (USA) (28 October 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chinese authorities withdrew the film from the Palm Springs International Film Festival in protest at the festival having programmed The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet's Struggle for Freedom (2010), a documentary about the Dalai Lama. See more »


Several scenes take place on a square where stands what seems to be a ruined large public building. Towards the end, this building is shown from another angle, but it is clear from its shape that the image has been flipped horizontally. See more »

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User Reviews

Emotional Ride
27 April 2009 | by (China) – See all my reviews

I'm an overseas Chinese, growing up listening to my grandfather telling the stories about how bad the Japanese Military treating the Chinese people in WWII.

I saw some of the movies made back in the 80's/90's about the rape of Nanking, to me they are exploitation movies and never affected me or leave me with profound experience. I'm actually disgusted with them making such low movies. Also most of the documentaries I watched never really does anything.

I watched Nanjing! Nanjing! - City of Life and Death tonight and it really drained me emotionally, the movie really depicting the real face/real ugly side of war, where the victims are always the people, doesn't matter what wars or which countries.

The movie itself doesn't really do the finger pointing like other movies, but it just showing, in my opinion, the fair view on what was going on back then without taking sides.

And it's show one thing, the most profound thing to me, that The Chinese people can endure a lot of hardship that life throw at them and that's possibly why their cultures and civilization last for a long time.

Highly recommended for people who never really know this part of history, as Chinese I know about it, but for lot of my westerners friends who never been to China, they only heard about it but didn't realize how crazy it was and how significant is this event for the Chinese people. Most people know the atrocities the Nazis did in WWII, but not the Japanese Atrocities.

Watched it and let's pray there won't be WW III or any wars at all actually.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Historical not Historic Reality WilhelmDutchie
The dance Zhyper
Why did Mr. Tang stay in Nanking? miljenko1
This is a movie about life value Dennis_fcb
Why Has the Film Title Been Changed? theMidnightSun
No ABC/CNN/CBS/Fox report in the US on this movie jesc-3
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