In a small town in the Basque country, Lucas and Maria are an elderly brother and sister. They share a house with their memories and the ghosts of the people they have loved throughout ... See full synopsis »
The Chilean coup of 1973. The masses are out on the street, protesting against General Pinochet. Amongst them, Daniel and Lena, a young German couple, which like many others, get arrested by Pinochet's secret police DINA.
After 28 years building and managing a vast Siemens plant in Nanking, John Rabe is ordered by the new Nazi regime to close it down. Before he can pack, the Japanese army, lead unofficially by a bloodthirsty imperial uncle, lays siege to the city. Rabe accepts, as prominent representative of Japans' major European ally, to head the Western ex-pats society's plan to start and run an international zone, like worked in Shangai. Rabe however wants it to save his workers and their close ones, over 200,000, and sacrifices all his personal interests. Written by
Fortuitously, a lot of 30s style housing was earmarked for demolition by the Shanghai authorities to make way for new skyscrapers. The production was able to use these leveled areas to represent the aftermath of bombing raids. See more »
The USS Panay is shown as a passenger ship when she was in fact a U.S. Navy River Gunboat. The movie shows the Panay being attacked within sight of Nanking (now known as Nanjing) but in reality it had moved 28 miles upriver and dropped anchor, along with three Standard Oil tankers. The attack lasted for 2.5 hours until the ship finally sunk. The attack left 3 sailors dead, 43 sailors and 5 civilians wounded. See more »
John Rabe is a person that actually existed and this is a (bit of a) fictionalized version of what he and the people he were trusted on, had to go through. Now this is the German version of that story. There is another side to that coin. And that other side is called "City of Life and Death" and is made from the Chinese perspective. So I guess the truth is somewhere in-between.
But this fairly good made and has a strong character (actor) in the midst of it all. The story is really touching and involves a lot of bad things happening. But as written above, you will have sides that you will choose, whom you like and whom you don't. What it does have over the Chinese "version", is a main character you can hold onto.
I'd suggest you watch both movies in a double feature to get the whole package.
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