In December 1937, during the Second Japanese-Sino War, a Chinese doctor, his Japanese pregnant wife, their teenage daughter and their young son travel from Shanghai to Nanjing seeking ... See full summary »
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 »
Three mischievous employees of a bank in a small deserted town all make plans to rob at the same time, however none of them knows about the others. Meanwhile, a clothing store employee has ... See full summary »
"Nanking" tells the story of the rape of Nanking, one of the most tragic events in history. In 1937, the invading Japanese army murdered over 200,000 and raped tens of thousands of Chinese. In the midst of the horror, a small group of Western expatriates banded together to save 250,000 -- an act of extraordinary heroism. Bringing an event little-known outside of Asia to a global audience, "Nanking" shows the tremendous impact individuals can make on the course of history. It is a gripping account of light in the darkest of times.Written by
A Documentary Brings Dead People's Story To Life...In Several Ways.
I imagine it's hard enough to make a compelling documentary with those depicted being alive. That said, when those whose diaries are the basis for said documentary have long since passed on it must be a minor miracle if the project works in even a small way. Oh, yes add in that few people cared at the time the actual events occurred, either by ignorance or indifference, and that very same lack of interest still exists today...So, why bother? Perhaps, because it has been said that a society who fails to recognize its mistakes is doomed to repeat them. If you believe in this simple premise then how can we not properly acknowledge what the Japanese did, while the world watched, even this many years later. Every generation needs to learn from our collective history and I believe this movie is an important tool in that lesson.
More to the point of Nanking. It is not in any way meant to be any kind of definitive documentary of all events that were related to the Japanese destruction of Nanking and therefore should not be examined as such. It tells the story of the few, the foreigners, in a very narrow time period who were responsible for the preservation of at least a quarter of a million Chinese refugees who would have most certainly been massacred. It does this by a uniquely artistic device of using some living survivors interspersed with actors portraying those who are dead yet are able to tell their stories using wording right from their diaries. By understanding that the words are the actual words of these deceased people who saved lives against the fiercest evil more than validates this approach for this viewer.
I want to recommend this movie to those interested in the atrocities of war as it relates to history and who we are and should be. All civilized humanity should fight for justice and never sit idly by as evil goes about it's business unchecked. When we sit back and do nothing evil flourishes as history proved all to well in the next seven or eight years as more Japanese and Nazi atrocities mounted. This movie reminds us of that and as such is not a "hate letter" to any sect, but shows the human capacity for both evil and good. It's our mandate to make sure good wins and I find this documentary effectively states this. Important and timely, highly recommended.
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