City of life and death

City of life and death

Downloadable Video - 2011 | Chinese
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On December 9, 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army laid siege to the Chinese capital of Nanking, beginning a reign of terror that killed as many as 300,000 civilians, an infamous tragedy now referred to as the Rape of Nanking. The first big-budget fiction film by the Chinese to deal with the seminal event in their modern history, City of Life and Death is a visceral, heartbreaking portrait of life during wartime, and an unforgettable masterpiece of contemporary world cinema.


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Dec 29, 2014

A Masterpiece of Cinema
A movie that commands your attention and your psyche.
Not a Hollywood popcorn pic
Meant for literate thinking people - who are willing to witness the truth about how savage "Man" can be-
And how brave and honorable "Man" can be in the face of savagery
Technical Merits :
Score 10/10
Handheld Photography 10/10
Acting 10/10
Story 10/10
Editing 10/10
A film for the ages

Jun 25, 2014

good movie very detail!

May 05, 2014

This movie is brutal to watch, it will make your stomach curl. It shows the Japanese killing, raping, butchering, plundering, etc Nanking. Very well done for what it is trying to show but overall there isn’t much of a story and at times hard to make sense what is going on. Also, the hand written postcards telling you what is going on are very very hard to read. I would recommend “The Flowers of War” as well for another perspective on this terrible moment in history.

Sep 10, 2012

This is the best film I have seen on the subject of the invasion of Nanjing by the Japanese decades ago. Director Lu Chuan, one of the most influential directors of modern cinema in China, approached the subject from both the Chinese and the Japanese angles. The result is a gut-wretching film that is hard to watch, but your moral obligation forces you to continue watching. Shot in black and white, this is one of the best films on war and its toll of humanity ever made. An excellent cinematic experience!

May 29, 2012

It is a scandal and a blot on the Japanese culture that they still refuse to acknowledge the atrocities they committed in Nanking -- as well as in Singapore and elsewhere. They're obviously in denial and perhaps waiting until -- like the young Germans of today -- no one remains to feel responsible for their savagery. Something at the heart of that culture rooted this depravity, and until there's some recognition of it we live in danger of a repetition. Basically, they treated people as not their fellow beings, and showed a blind spot in civilization that led to their mass slaughter with impunity: notoriously piling the cadavers high in Nanking, and then going along with other, even innocent pursuits (dancing, etc). Are we in Judeo-Christian cultures immune from such awfulness? Do we who entrench preventive measures against such approaches via the rule of law, at least affirming a need to curtail such depravity? You be the judge.
...until then, this movie is well worth watching. Snippets of fine acting leaven the heavy factual backdrop to this large tale of just what the Chinese suffered at the hands of a superior military force -- which, as I said, had a complete lack of charity or scruples. It should be compulsory watching in every Japanese school.

Apr 05, 2012

Time well spent...a little examined part of history.

This is a high production values film. It is extremely well acted and presents one of the most harrowing events of the Pacific War in high detail and accuracy (not for those who are sensitive to graphic depictions of war). Over the top emotional over-dramatization which is common in many Asian films is largely avoided and viewers are allowed to form their own emotional reaction to the events as they unfold. Balance is created by showing aspects of both victim and belligerent. I have seen hundreds of films depicting the nastiness of war and this is one of the best (my top ten). I have to say that the film left me feeling strangely empty and very clear reflection of how the story has unfolded to this day. The victims have never seen true justice and get very little attention by the western world. The Japanese for their part are ashamed of this episode and have tried to apologize but it has not been received as genuine and rings empty for many. As with the Holocaust in Europe, this history will always be an open wound incapable of healing. This film tries to bring to life a taste of the madness and horror that overwhelmed the city of Nanking on the eve of World War II. Watch and care.


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