18th Titanic Filmfestival

Festival Films Programs Press Akreditation

City of Life and Death

Nanjing! Nanjing!
China, 2009
Directed by:

Scr.: Chuan Lu
Phot.: Yu Cao
Editor: Yun Teng
Cast: Ye Liu, Yuanyuan Gao, Hideo Nakaizumi
Distributor: Media Asia
Format: 35 mm
Black and White
132 mins

One of the most dramatic episodes from the Second Chinese Japanese War is the Japanese conquest of former Chinese capital Nanjing in December 1937 and the mass murder and rapes that followed. In his impressive reconstruction of this tragedy, Chinese film maker Lu Chuan shows what went on in both camps, he does not only show the random nature of executions and rapes, but also the horror of a well-intentioned Japanese soldier. The grim lyricism of the grandiose black-and-white images and the chaos, filmed with a hand-held camera, of fights between the ruins give City of Life and Death the allure of a classic epic. The film was released successfully in China, but also heavily criticised because of its differentiated portrayal of the Japanese.


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