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Old 7th June 2009, 11:41 AM
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2 epic shows on Nanking 1937 by a German director and another by a Chinese director.

John Rabe is a 2009 Chinese-French-German biopictorial film directed by Florian Gallenberger and starring Ulrich Tukur, Daniel Brühl and Steve Buscemi.

It focuses upon the experiences of John Rabe, a German businessman who used his Nazi party membership to construct a Safety Zone in Nanking, similar to the one in Shanghai, and save over 200,000 Chinese from the Nanking massacre, which was being committed by the invading Imperial Japanese Army after the 1937 Battle of Nanking. Based upon Rabe's wartime diaries, shooting for the film commenced in 2007 [1], and it premiered at the 59th Berlin Film Festival on February 7, 2009.

City of Life and Death (Chinese: 南京! 南京!; pinyin: Nánjīng! Nánjīng!) is a 2009 Chinese film directed by Lu Chuan, marking his third feature film. The film deals with the Battle of Nanjing and its aftermath (commonly referred to as "The Rape of Nanking" or the "Nanking Massacre") during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The film is also known as Nanking! Nanking! or Nanjing! Nanjing!. While originally slated for a 2008 release, the director-general of the Chinese Film Bureau announced in September that the film would be delayed to an early 2009 release.[1] The film was eventually released on April 22, 2009 where it became a box-office success, earning RMB150m (approximate US$20m) in its first two and a half weeks alone.[2]
Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death

Two years after shooting began, Lu Chuan's (Kekexili, The Missing Gun) $12 million Hong Kong-China co-production, City of Life and Death (南京!南京!),finally opened on the mainland on April 22 and in Hong Kong on May 7. It's not easy to take on a subject like the Nanjing massacre—Iris Chang's Rape of Nanking is still widely read, and several movies have explored different views on the subject. Most recently, there is the Sino-German film John Rabe, out in China this month, and the 2007 documentary Nanking, which screened at Sundance.

But Lu still manages to offer something new and valuable in this latest film, which is excellent both cinematically--it's black-and-white and shot entirely with hand-held cameras—and conceptually—unlike Rabe and Nanking, which focus largely on the handful of foreigners who stayed behind, Lu explores the human conscience by depicting the decisions Japanese/Chinese/Germans, soldiers/civilians, men/women, adults/children had to make during the six weeks of slaughter. City's multidimensional portrayal of Japanese soldiers has earned Lu and some of his Japanese cast members both praise and death threats.

The film is refreshingly free of any cheesy love stories or major celebrity distractions. There were early rumors that Lu planned to cast A-list actors like Maggie Cheung, and he has said that talent agencies blocked his attempts to recruit top Japanese actors. The biggest name, Liu Ye (Dark Matter, Curse of the Golden Flower), delivers another classy performance largely with his eyes and facial gestures alone.

Lu provides a taste of the massacre's horror by showing quick glimpses of organized rape, mass murder and mutilation without making audiences sick to their stomachs (think of the over-the-top torture scenes in Red Sorghum or Clint Eastwood's recent Changeling).

In interviews, Lu and his cast members have said that they were depressed and could not sleep during filming. “While filming, I even thought about no longer living,” actress Gao Yuanyuan, who played a missionary school teacher, told CCTV. This is extremely disturbing, given that in-depth Nanjing research eventually contributed to Iris Chang's suicide in 2004. After 72 years, the massacre should not be taking any more lives.

UPDATE: Media Asia says they haven't scheduled release dates for other markets yet.
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Old 7th June 2009, 04:46 PM
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Re: 2 epic shows on Nanking 1937 by a German director and another by a Chinese direct

Should be a great movie given those involved... I just wondering when they will make a movie on the more recent in history, Beijing incident (I guess when it is as historical as Nanjong Nanjing is now!)
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Old 7th June 2009, 05:03 PM
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Re: 2 epic shows on Nanking 1937 by a German director and another by a Chinese direct

To Asiaplay
Excuse me but your post makes me very angry....
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