Thursday, June 26, 2014


Another chapter in the book on the banality of evil, we review, in news footage, and in letters and diaries of Westerners who were there, the fall of the Chinese capital to Imperial Japan. The matter-of-factness in most all of the accounts, and in what today would be archaic language, put a very sharp point to the story. (It's similar to reading the Bible in the King James Version rather than in a more modern translation.) Furthermore, the absurdities of life once again are magnified during wartime; here, it's American missionaries and German businessmen who are also National Socialist (Nazi) Party members, working together in a moral crusade to save poor Chinese from rape and murder. It's also a lesson on the power of standing up, and of leading from the front.

I normally would not comment on a documentary such as this. It clearly speaks for itself. But, after reading some of the negative reviews, I can't help but feel that a number of them are intentionally misleading. Some have stated that there are "no interviews with Japanese soldiers" - a complete and utter falsehood. There are plenty of old Japanese men almost laughing about their actions (though being honest about them ....) probably 10 minutes total of such.... other's try to knock the use of actors.... seriously?????? Do you realize when this took place??!!??? Wht would have been better? Just throw the words up on the screen to be read so that you could then discuss how horribly boring it all was and you'd have rather read a book? Of course they used actors to read from the letters and diaries of the LONG DEAD writers!! Finally, idiots who claim that it is "too violent" with "horrible images" WTF???!!! R U SERIOUS??!!!!! I thought it was a well produced documentary about a horrible event. One which haunts many Chinese til this day and one that far too many Japanese fail to acknowledge and accept as a part of their history. Yes, as some have pointed out, they did fail to give any solid sense of what Nanking was about prior to the attack, how Shanghai had functioned, the role of European nations in said cities... BUT - it wasn't truly about that. It was about an under-reported, and under-discussed nightmare that more people should be aware of. I have yet to see, after 6 pages of comments, a single low review of this that did not imply a biased reviewer (someone who still denies the reality of what took place) OR one of those "it bored me...wha wha aha..." types who cannot watch more than 15 minutes of anything without a car-chase.... I sometimes hate this review system....
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

"I want to know what were the steps that led mankind from civilized to barbarian?" Voltaire (?) Let us see the truth of man....he is human, he is animal, he can be worse than animal because of his intellect. His intellect can be used for the betterment or destruction of his fellow man. That would be depend on the conditions of his heart. So I want to know what leads man to hold evil in his heart as opposed to the ethics of humanity? The Japanese government and its military apparatus turned men {not women} from human beings into beings of hate & destruction. The 20th century should be a clear example and warning of the potential horror of unrestricted warfare and the negative power of technology. The 20th century should be a warning of why the education of our children's hearts and minds in the realm of freedom, democracy, and humanity is the greatest task of the future. \This evil that crossed the lands of Europe and Asia still exists. Allow the conditions to ripen and you will see a future of genocide, destruction, and suffering. Maybe the future holds a place for the inhumane robotic race, but for now we the good people of the earth are still here. My heart goes out to all who suffered the depravity of the technological savvy human animal.Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts;you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies;
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself;
you reconcile all beings in the world.” 
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Worth viewing only to understand history and the brutality that took place during a very dark time known as World War II. I really had enough of this film by the one hour mark but viewed it to the end. This film is depressing and the acts of cruelty are beyond imagination. What it really did is make me think as the Japanese culture is so respectful in modern times it is hard to make sense of why Japanese soldiers could be so out of control or were they perhaps given orders to conduct themselves in such ways? The answers to these questions are not addressed. I did not enjoy this film at all but it is not suppose to be enjoyable, mainly informative. The director made one big flaw by creating audio re-enactments of people during this time using modern day actors which really turned me off. If brutality bothers you, give this film a pass, it is non-stop brutality and no one is given a pass.
¿THE RAPE OF NANKING¿ *1)This Docudrama is presented by showing live footage of the carnage with narration by surviving Japanese and Chinese witnesses to the massacre.(Please note the excitement/glee of the Japanese soldiers who describe the acts they participated in.) Assisting the narration are well known movie stars representing and standing-in for John Rabe, Minnie Vautrin, Bob Wilson, George Fitch and other Westerners living and working in Nanking at the time of the invasion. The aforementioned Western citizens are heroes who ran interference with the Japanese by establishing a neutral zone in an ATTEMPT to protect non-combatant Chinese. While not perfect, the Neutral Zone saved more than 250 thousand Nanking citizens from certain death. *2)During the first 6 weeks of the invasion of Nanking, it is estimated that more than 10,000 women and girls were raped, and more than 200 thousand unarmed citizens were ruthlessly murdered by being shot, bayoneted, beheaded, or burned alive by ruthless Japanese Soldiers. The same atrocities occurred in many more Chinese cities, but there is no film coverage or firm estimates available of those crimes. *3)The unasked and unanswered question in this Docudrama - ¿Why were the Japanese such cruel monsters with their Chinese genocide"? *4)This is a graphic presentation, and is recommended to War movie fans with strong constitutions. Hope my impressions are helpful. BANDITOCAT.
10 out of 10 members found this review helpful
The films serious shortcoming is its failure to probe beneath the surface. The history of the horror of Nanking is meticulously recaptured. But mankind will be forever cursed with this sort of unfathomable cruelty to fellow humans unless we can drill down to the mind-set of those who would perpetrate torture and murder by their own hand. I longed for some insight into how the Japanese army came to such low depths. But the film offered none. The surface facts are there. But of understanding them, there is nothing.
The way this movie was presented seemed to be a very antiseptic presentation of the Nanking massacare. If you're really interested in the way the Japanese treated the Chinese I suggest you watch Black Sun : The Nanking Massacre.
My grandma fled from Nanking (Nanjing) during WWII, and I have heard my grandma speaking of this horrible past, therefore I can tell you that this film is objective and valuable. I recommend everyone to watch this. More people should see what happened on the other side of WWII and those unsung heroes who contributed themselves for other people in the toughest time. Please watch it!!
An important movie which chronicles the evil that man is capable of. In this instance it is the Japanese. But make no mistake about it. Every culture is capable of this evil given the right circumstances which is approval from above such as was the case with Abu Gahrib and the evil that was done on 9/11 to 3,000 innocent civilians. Films like this need to be made so the apologists and history revisionists cannot rewrite history like this never happened. Well done.

Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre is an uncompromising portrayal of the war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial Army upon the Chinese military and civilian population of Nanking during the occupation of the city.
This movie is currently unavailable
Liang Zhang, Yung Pan
1 hour 31 minutes

This movie deserved five stars for two reason: 1.Showing actual rare footage of the “Rape of Nanking”. 2. Interviews from both Chinese and Japanese elders who gave a first person accounting of their experiences resulting from this tragic event in history.The Hollywood cast recited from a prepared script, a biased description of those grotesque activities. Their motivation of sincerity was just acting, as none of them were actual witnesses when the event occurred in 1937.Historians and witnesses have estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed at “The Battle of Nanking”. However, this causality static pales to another atrocity committed against the Chinese by their Asian cousins.Well, get a look at this one that occurred in China between 1935 and 1945."For forty years the grisly activities of Japan's Unit 731 and sister units, remained the best kept secret of World War Two."Citing one example of germ warfare attacks on Chinese population by the Japanese:Plaque fleas, infected clothing, and infected supplies encased in bombs were dropped on various targets. The resulting cholera,anthrax, and plague were estimated to have killed around 400,000 Chinese civilians. Tularemia was tested on Chinese civilians. Unit 731* and its affiliated units (Unit 1644, Unit 100 et cetera) were involved in research, development, and experimental deployment of epidemic-creating bio-warfare weapons in assaults against the Chinese populace (both civilian and military) throughout World War II. Plague-infested fleas, bred in the laboratories of Unit 731 and Unit 1644, were spread by low-flying airplanes upon Chinese cities, coastal Ningbo  in 1940, and Chanqde, Hunan,  Province, in 1941. This military aerial spraying killed thousands of people with bubonic plaque epidemics.Read more if interested: Google: Japan’s Unit 731
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
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Very clever having actors reading the letters - a connect with the historical figures that otherwise may not have been as immediate or gripping. This is one of the saddest and horrific documentaries I have ever seen. I can not believe and I am ashamed that I was not aware of its ever taking place. I also can not believe the amount outstanding footage - I assume 'propaganda' films. WHAT a whirlwind of opinion changing stories - one has to reevaluate opinions of Nazi German citizens, Chinese stoicism, the endurance and death of the human spirit.I never want to see this movie again!! But I am grateful - so grateful for having seen it.