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Iris Chang: The Rape of Nanking (2007)

About a young Chinese-American author's journey into the darkest reaches of humanity as she researched and wrote her best selling book "The Rape of Nanking". Iris Chang's harrowing ... See full summary »

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Iris Chang
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About a young Chinese-American author's journey into the darkest reaches of humanity as she researched and wrote her best selling book "The Rape of Nanking". Iris Chang's harrowing experience and dogged determination uncovers in graphic detail the forgotten holocaust of World War II when almost 300,000 Chinese women, children and soldiers were in a matter of weeks systematically raped, tortured and murdered by the invading Japanese forces. Written by Anonymous

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April 2008 (USA)  »

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Truly made for TV....
4 August 2009 | by (a world partitioned by petty, squabbling nation-states) – See all my reviews

It's depressing to think that this may be the only film that will ever be made about Iris Chang.

The film splices together actual footages of Chang's TV appearances, interviews with her parents, her editor, and people who helped research her book "The Rape of Nanking", with dramatized scenes of Chang (played by Olivia Cheng) laced with first person narrations (meant to visually integrate notes from her diaries or book which explains some of her motivations and psychological/emotional states).

The problem is that the director can't seem to decide if this film should be about Chang or about "The Rape of Nanking" (even though she has written other books...). We end up learning more about "The Rape of Nanking" than we do about Chang and the days leading up to her suicide (or her life prior to writing "The Rape of Nanking"). Strangely, her husband and friends are omitted from the film altogether (at least in the version I saw, which focused almost exclusively on interviews with her parents and editor), which simply adds to the feeling that you are watching something that might as well not have been made, because it tells you nothing that you do not already know.


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