Nanjing! Nanjing! (2009) is a Mandarin,English,Japanese,German movie. Chuan Lu has directed this movie. Ye Liu,Wei Fan,Hideo Nakaizumi,Yuanyuan Gao are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2009. Nanjing! Nanjing! (2009) is considered one of the best Drama,History,War movie in India and around the world.
In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone.
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Big budget WWII epic , it happens when China is invaded by Japan at the onset of war and finds Japanese army surrounding city of Nanjing (1937). After that, at the city take place violations, mutilations, and massacres. Some prisoners are interred in a prison camp but later they are led to fire squad, scaffold and alive burying. Director deglamorizes war showing true horror and terrible events. It's a staggering evocation of the Chinese Holocausto in Nanjing , as the atrocities are depicted matter of factly as by-product of sheer Japanese evil. The opening twenty minutes graphic depiction the facing off is , on its own, magnificent. The film-maker Chuan Lu is nicknamed the Chinese Steven Spielberg for his spectacular and impressive productions. As the moving beginning results to be as stirring as ¨Saving private Ryan¨ , the developing of the movie regarding invasion China is partially similar to ¨Empire of the sun¨ and suffering of Chinese people bear remarkable resemblance to Jews of ¨Schlindler list¨ .The starring, Nakaizumi, and the rest of the cast are excellent , as the movie is powered by splendid performances in charge of Chinese and Japanese actors who during filming suffered some inevitable discussions. Filmed in perfect black and white by cameraman Cao Yu , reflecting appropriately the grim and rotten environment .Lu Chuan makes a breathtaking work which directs spectacularly with groundbreaking scenes in a heartbreaking context.Chuan dedicated about three years joining information and interviewing experts for that scenes would adequate to reality of events. This masterpiece finally garnered the world attention and respect that the story deserves, winning several prizes in various International Festivals.
I finished watching this film two hours ago and the punch in the stomach I received watching it still hurts. I don't recall having received such a punch in my 60 or so years of film watching. Unlike films such as "Schindler's List" or "Empire of the Sun", this film does not take sides. It's like a candid camera operated by an invisible grand master hidden in the crowd or the rubble. It's just there recording events. As a result, despite the fact that it focuses on the big picture, the individual is not lost: Both the Chinese and the Japanese, each and every one of them, in huge crowds are real believable characters. This gives the viewer a grand and horrible sense of presence which is what makes it so painful. It would take courage to watch it again.
Viewed at the Festival de Cannes 2009 (Market screening) Since I am not Chinese, or of Chinese extraction, City of Life and Death has a different resonance for me. I know of the Nanking massacre (for which, it has to be said, the Japanese have yet to apologise or even properly acknowledge) from my own interest in history, as well as the John Rabe story (the Nazi who helped save thousands of Chinese civilians, until recalled to Germany since Hitler did not wish to upset his Japanese allies). Therefore, for me, City of Life and Death retells a fearful part of history, but not one with which I have any direct connection. So while this film may resonate a certain way for Chinese viewers, be they from the mainland, Hong Kong or overseas Chinese, I can tell you that I, as a European, have seldom seen a film so powerful, gripping, dramatic and moving. City of Life and Death is not nationalistic propaganda or a reversioning for the screen: no punches are pulled. The woman next to me was in tears. So be warned, this is not easy viewing. But by featuring on a few characters, allowing them to become fully three-dimensional human beings (not Chinese, not Asian, but human beings who live, love and feel) director Lu Chuan makes his audience feel and share their fear and terror as the Japanese invaders commit atrocity after atrocity on the fallen city's inhabitants. Never forget, this actually happened. If anything, Lu Chuan soft pedals on the horrors. They are depicted, but are not front and centre. This is not a horror film so gore hounds and ghouls should seek their thrills elsewhere. Rather, it is the arbitrariness with which the Japanese went about their murderous work that scares. Wrong place, wrong time: rape, torture, murder. This wasn't the efficient, methodical murder the Nazis introduced, but rather cold brutality, as a cat toys with a helpless mouse. Unthinking, unreasoning, just because. Filmed in black and white, City has so many images and scenes that remain fixed in you mind long after the final credits have rolled. Lu Chuan even selects the grain and grading according to the action. The use of colour would, in this case, have weakened the film. But if City of Life and Death were just two hours of suffering it would be unworthy of an audience. So Lu Chuan gives us the central characters of Mr. Tang (John Rabe's secretary), Miss Jiang (a schoolteacher) and Kadokawa (a sensitive Japanese soldier who witness but cannot delay the unspeakable). All of them are helplessly swept up in the maelstrom, which Lu Chuan leavens with scenes of (attempts at) normal life, normal human interaction and naked attempts at survival. These are people with whom one can identify and empathise. Yet, at heart, City of Life and Death is extremely uplifting. The message, at the end, is positive and optimistic. In writing this review, the film is coming back to me again. What I once read, black and white on a page, has been made real for me and, yes, I'm emotionally moved by it. If you believe in the power of film, want a break from popcorn entertainment, are looking for a film that can make you feel (as opposed to having your emotions manipulated) then please go see this one. It's rare when I think a film should be seen, deserves to be seen, but City of Life and Death belong in that very rare category.
I'm an overseas Chinese, growing up listening to my grandfather telling the stories about how bad the Japanese Military treating the Chinese people in WWII. I saw some of the movies made back in the 80's/90's about the rape of Nanking, to me they are exploitation movies and never affected me or leave me with profound experience. I'm actually disgusted with them making such low movies. Also most of the documentaries I watched never really does anything. I watched Nanjing! Nanjing! - City of Life and Death tonight and it really drained me emotionally, the movie really depicting the real face/real ugly side of war, where the victims are always the people, doesn't matter what wars or which countries. The movie itself doesn't really do the finger pointing like other movies, but it just showing, in my opinion, the fair view on what was going on back then without taking sides. And it's show one thing, the most profound thing to me, that The Chinese people can endure a lot of hardship that life throw at them and that's possibly why their cultures and civilization last for a long time. Highly recommended for people who never really know this part of history, as Chinese I know about it, but for lot of my westerners friends who never been to China, they only heard about it but didn't realize how crazy it was and how significant is this event for the Chinese people. Most people know the atrocities the Nazis did in WWII, but not the Japanese Atrocities. Watched it and let's pray there won't be WW III or any wars at all actually.
The last Rape of Nanking event film I had watched, was the docu-drama Nanking back in 2006 during the Hong Kong International Film Festival. With interviews conducted with real survivors, I was riveted to listen to their account of the atrocities conducted by the Japanese soldiers, and you empathize with them as they relive their memory and make them known. The dramatic elements were nicely presented as well, with notable names reading off memoirs and letters pertaining to individual episodes, which collectively make up the brutal horror, a living hell if you would, of the conditions of occupation. Lu Chuan of Kekexili fame has crafted this fine film that looks into 2 broad episodes – the first few hours of occupation which will satisfy action junkies, and the later half which looked into the atrocities that were committed some 1 week into occupation, from within an international safety zone set up by Westerners, led by German John Rabe, who gets some concession by virtue of Nazi Germany being Japan's ally. There's the controversial aspect of the film though, where it doesn't demonize the invading force right away. Instead, I lauded its realistic portrayal of the human condition of Fear when we go into the unknown, and this emotion gets vividly captured in the first few minutes of the movie, setting the tone of the entire film, where fear drives us to do inhumane, barbaric acts. That being said, it doesn't shy away from reenacting the atrocities committed against the Chinese, from bayonet stabbings, mass burials of breathing souls, burning and the machine gunning of surviving soldiers, and rape. Filled with plenty of characters each given a specific purpose in the film, either representative of an historical legend, or collectively as a group, it makes you feel for the individual with documentary-like precision, and I am somewhat intrigued at how one can feel so much through the simple camera work of going real close to the actor's face, and lingering onwards to capture moments of despair and bewilderment. If there's one film you should see this year, then don't miss this one. I only hope that it gets played in a decent cinema hall with a great sound system, otherwise it'll do this film no justice. Certainly a contender for one of my films of the year, and comes highly recommended!