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 »
Witnesses at the time said at least 20,000 women were raped and there were widespread reports of other atrocities. Among the most notorious--which was not shown in the film--was a "contest" between two Japanese officers, Lt. Toshiaki Mukai and Lt. Tsuyochi Noda, to see who could behead the most prisoners in a given amount of time. Captured Chinese soldiers were lined up and each officer used his ceremonial sword to behead them. The final "score" was Mukai 106, Noda 105. The event was covered extensively in Japanese newspapers at the time, complete with photos of the two. After the war, they were captured, tried and executed. See more »
Several scenes take place on a square where stands what seems to be a ruined large public building. Towards the end, this building is shown from another angle, but it is clear from its shape that the image has been flipped horizontally. See more »
Unlike Shindler's List or John Rabe, this film focuses not on one particular hero in this kind of atrocities, but the countless ordinary people suffering from the horrors of war. Director Lu did an excellently balanced view, some may say too balanced, from the civilians and the soldiers - Chinese and Japanese alike during the rape of Nanking. The subject matter is profound, the acting is top-notch, the cinematography is excellent, however, the pacing is deliberately slow to match the mood of the film, making me wonder some time how long I had to suffer through. The ending is also a disappointment, when the director tries way too hard to make life the symbol. Still, overall, the movie is good, important and relevant. Watch it.
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