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
Several Japanese actors when approached immediately turned down any suggestion about appearing in the film. The Nanking massacre still touches a raw nerve in Japan today and for some Japanese actors the thought of appearing in a film about it was beyond comprehension. See more »
Jinling Girls' College Master of Studies Valérie Dupres never existed. The real person - Minnie Vautrin - was an American missionary who was so traumatized by the tragedy that she committed suicide in 1941. 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.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?