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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
Not surprisingly, none of the major film companies in Japan were interested in investing - or indeed screening - the film. See more »
There is a scene where Dr. Rosen and John Rabe are drinking together and then join in a duet of "Hitler. He only had one ......". This was set just before Xmas 1937. The song is not believed to have been written until 1939. (Autobiography Fringe Benefits, by writer Donough O'Brien where he says that the original was written in August 1939 by his father, Toby O'Brien) See more »
Good but I think I prefer some of the documentaries about the topic instead.
"John Rabe" is a very glossy and well done film about the actions of Rabe and a few other foreigners in saving as many of the residents of Nanking as they could during the Japanese invasion. The airplane attacks and look of the film were absolutely great--and the film is well worth seeing.
I am very familiar with the story of John Rabe and used to teach my world history students about him and the Japanese destruction of Nanking (I have since retired). Much of what I'd learned were from the book "The Rape of Nanking" as well as several well made documentaries. So, I am NOT the typical person watching the story for the first time--I am a bit tougher to please. Because of this, I am much more critical that average and to me, the story was flawed because it actually seemed very sanitized. In other words, while the film DID show some of the Japanese atrocities, it didn't do much--probably because it would nauseate most viewers. BUT, by doing so, it minimized the evil that was perpetrated here--making the Japanese troops seem almost normal. It's rare, but I would have included much more blood and talked much more about the rapes and murder of children. Evil must not be minimized and here it just didn't seem as sadistic and wrong as the Rape of Nanking was.
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