features

Film on Japanese occupation of Nanjing wins top prize in San Sebastian

31 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
Login to comment

i know what you doin

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well-deserved too! This movie was intensely disturbing,but the cinematography was strikingly beautiful.One of the better war movies that I have watched.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i wonder if they will show this at regular theaters in Japan.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“City of Life and Death” and "Cove" just perfect timing for ruining Japaneee image abroad especially during the Olympics bid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm waiting for cinema to get brave instead of cliche and depict war atrocities in a morally neutral light. Not going to happen though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“City of Life and Death” and "Cove" just perfect timing for ruining Japaneee image abroad especially during the Olympics bid.

If people across the globe were so naive as to make up their minds that Tokyoites do not deserve the Olympics on those 3 films,(well the Tokyoites who do want this calamity in their town) then I guess humanity in general is not worth celebrating on the intellectual front.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nanjing is a myth perpetrated by Japan hating foreigners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If people across the globe were so naive as to make up their minds that Tokyoites do not deserve the Olympics on those 3 films,(well the Tokyoites who do want this calamity in their town) then I guess humanity in general is not worth celebrating on the intellectual front at the Olympics, probably near par with the rapists and pillagers at Nanking who fail to take in account the implications of their actions: such as the point of convincing idiots around the world that Tokyo does not deserve the Olympics. Well, to be honest the Olympics is mostly about celebrating braun than brains, save for a few technical sports like shooting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved alot of Japanese lives, the rape of Nanking saved alot of Chinese lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About time the world finds big kernels of truthful history of the Japanese past, in the face of Japan beseeching the world of how it uniquely suffered the injustices of the atomic bombings while ignoring the worst victims of their own aggression. Hatoyama urges the world Japan knows a thing or two about suffering, while unbelievably uttering not a single word of the pain and horror his own forefathers inflicted on millions of innocent victims from China all the way down to the Pacific and to Australia. Hollywood makes anti-Nazi movies all the time, so it should not be shy and instead be honest about the Japanese too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I read a different article about this film and it mentioned that the director actually received MANY complaints and even a death threat from some Chinese viewers because he DID portray the Japanese soldiers as human beings rather than just monsters. What happened in Nanjing was monstrous and disturbing, and it makes me sick that people don't know about it at all or totally deny it, but I think it was admirable of him to not make it totally based on anger and focused upon demonizing the Japanese, but rather educating while still telling the truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to investigate this more. I know an old Japanese soldier and he said it just did not happen that way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NeoJamal,

Just as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved alot of Japanese lives, the rape of Nanking saved alot of Chinese lives.

This is a new theory to me. How so?

Yelnats,

"I know an old Japanese soldier and he said it just did not happen that way."

There are also Japanese soldiers who say it did happen this way. Should make your investigation interesting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My conclusion after looking into the alleged massacre at Nanjing is that the situation arose largely thr5ough a breakdown of discipline.

Young men far from home and a severe shortage of senior officers resulted in those uncontrolled males running amock. I do not believe the alleged rapes and murders were planned.

It was an unfortunate event in history. A history of wars in which no one's hands are free of blood or war-crimes.

The Japanese lost that war and it is not unexpected their crimes are exaggerated and those of the so-called Allies hushed-up and minimalised.

Interestingly the pain and suffering of the people in Nanjing pales into insignificance when compared to the Chinese after the end of WW II hostilities where tens of millions of Chinese were killed, butchered and actually eaten by other Chinese. And factual movies based on acts by the winning side could very well be made which are at least equally horrifying. - But there doesn't seem to be much demand for that. Strange, isn't it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no such thing as a nation that went out of WW2 without having commited some acts not worthy of humanity, with the possible exeption of Andorra. I don't see how bashing the Japanese with a flood of hollywood films about their crimes would achieve anything except the Japanese look even further away from the topic and the Americans feeling even more right about what they did in those days. A good film shows how decent people commit the most appalling things in times of war and that for this reason avoiding it is the only true brave and good action you can take (remember "war games", anyone). The US could use some reflection on war crimes just as well Japan, Germany or any other nation. The worst thing you can do is just to look at the other's war crimes. because that only fuels rage and racism and limits intercltural understanding, which is still the single best tool in the box in avoiding wars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A good film shows how decent people commit the most appalling things in times of war and that for this reason avoiding it is the only true brave and good action you can take (remember "war games", anyone).

war games? I wonder how matthew brodrerick would have behaved in Nanking. not a good comparison.

“Shot in wide lens black-and-white, the film alternates Japanese and Chinese points of view to brush a compelling and impressionist portrait of the day-to-day living conditions in the devastated city,” the jury said, praising Lu’s focus on “the minute ethical dilemmas demanded by surviving in wartime.” hmmm doesn't sound like the imaginary Hollywood films you bashed. shame it won't be shown in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nanjing film NOT coming soon to your local theater! They can't face the truth and ditch their victimhood which has served them so well over the years

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet it wont show at any or maybe a brave few J-theatres because of the usual excuse "it will cause confusion"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"NeoJamal at 02:01 PM JST - 28th September

Just as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved alot of Japanese lives, the rape of Nanking saved alot of Chinese lives."

How does that logic work? Are you saying by raping and pillaging Nanjing it brought China's plight to the world? Thats just crazy. Its like saying the gas chambers of all those German prisons brought the plight of the Jews to the world and saved the remaining Jews. I am afraid I cannot see the logic in your comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NEWS FLASH:

All throughout history, when conquering armies took over cities, they usually raped and murdered to their hearts content.

From Alexander at Babylon to the Japanese at Nanking, war is about killing people. Combatants, noncombatants, women, babies. Even in the old testament, God herself told the Israelites to not spare a single life after razing a city.

The only thing different in the last two generations is there is a record of it, and you can watch pictures on youtube.

The whole of western civilization rests on the utter defeat and brutal murder of all her enemies, just as the Japanese did to the Chinese at Nanking.

The way it generally works is that the losers whine, and the winners conveniently forget the atrocities.

Don't you think the indiscriminate bombing of most of Japan (which killed just as many) would be considered war crimes if the allies had lost?

War means killing.

No one is innocent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bamboohat;

Yes, throughout history, this has indeed happened. I think the thing that is most shocking of the Japanese example, is that it occurred almost halfway into the 20th century, way after the west emancipated itself from such medieval ways of operating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I read that at the time the Japanese got to Nanking, there were NOT "hundreds of thousands" of people there; most had heard the Japanese were coming and had already evacuated, and that most of the people still there were people in the Chinese armed forces, dressed as civilians. No doubt both sides exagerated their case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All feels a bit like watching one's younger cousins fighting, doesn't it. I mean, it is not a proper smashing, like the A-Bomb. Now THAT was a proper beating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wonder if anyone knows whether the film actually any good on its own merits to deserve an award?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nemoflow,

it occurred almost halfway into the 20th century, way after the west emancipated itself from such medieval ways of operating.

You didn't write that statement seriously, did you?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bamboohat-- I totally agree with you. However, in regards to THIS film and what the director was trying to get across, I want to hope that he made it as real as possible instead of sugarcoating it (which history books and "scholars" on one end tend to do) or making it into something it was not (i.e. the Japanese were a pack of empty, souless drones who displayed cruelty more than anyone in the world EVER-- right).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

suffering of the people in Nanjing pales into insignificance when compared to the Chinese after the end of WW II hostilities where tens of millions of Chinese were killed, butchered and actually eaten by other Chinese. And factual movies based on acts by the winning side could very well be made which are at least equally horrifying.

and this pain and suffering could've been exaggerated by those opposed to the winning side. I'll probably get censored by the moderator, but some people show more kneejerk sympathy toward the victims of the Commies than to the victims of the Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"breakdown of discipline on the part of lower ranking soldiers" I disagree. National newspapers widely reported the beheading competitions staged by officers of the Japanese army. A clear endorsement to lower ranks be as depraved as they want.

"the west emancipated itself from such medieval ways of operating" in the past decades, we have seen from the west: waterboarding torture-interrogation and new forms of CIA-developed tortures, guantanamo bay (dog collars and religion-based humiliation), depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorus incendiary weapons, landmines, anthrax/mustard gas and all other chemical/biological weapons, etc etc etc.. what, you think that because it's more technologically advanced it can't be cruel?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jason 6.

I agree with all of what you wrote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jason 6 I agree with you too.I have read several books about this incident.They are too consistent for it all to be exaggerated. Surely it is best for movies like this to be given as wide an audience as possible to help prevent repitition and to encourage apology so that China and Japan can be better friends? The depleted uranium munitions presently being deployed in Iraq will I believe go down as one of the very biggest wartime atrocities

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in the past decades, we have seen from the west: waterboarding torture-interrogation and new forms of CIA-developed tortures, guantanamo bay (dog collars and religion-based humiliation), depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorus incendiary weapons, landmines, anthrax/mustard gas and all other chemical/biological weapons, etc etc etc.. what, you think that because it's more technologically advanced it can't be cruel?

Same old excuse: The West did bad stuff, so people should ignore Japan doing bad stuff. Either it's okay, or it's not. Most of humanity is against landmines, anthrax, etc etc, and it's vilified. Likewise, Japan's actions in Nanking will be vilified forever in history.

Nemoflow was right on; the behavior there was medieval.

There is no comparing the fire-bombing of Japan to the mass rape and murder games of Nanking. One was warfare and one sadism. Unbelievable that people feel compelled to make excuses for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites