Notice: Seeking anyone who would do movie news article postings &/or writing movie reviews &/or actors' features for this blog! If interested, please email me at or msg me with yahoo messenger.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chinese director wants to show 'truth' of Japanese occupation

Source: AFP

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AFP) - – Chinese director Lu Chuan said Monday he wanted to show the "truth" about the Japanese occupation of China's temporary capital Nanjing in 1937 in his new movie "City of Life and Death".

The film, one of 15 in competition for the San Sebastian film festival top award, deals in gruesome detail with the killing of what China says were 300,000 defenseless civilians and prisoners of war by Japanese invaders.

But it has angered some Chinese ultra-nationalists, earning Lu at least one death threat, because of its portrayal of the Japanese soldiers as ordinary people caught up in the tragedy of war, rather than the blood-thirsty monsters that they are often depicted as in China.

"This is an important film for history, I wanted to deliver to the world the truth about this massacre, which is little known outside of China," Lu told a news conference at San Sebastian after his film was screened.

"It took me four years to complete it, from preparation to post-production, with a very tight budget," he added.

The film, which lasts two hours and 15 minutes and was filmed in black and white, plainly depicts the executions of civilians and rapes suffered by the Chinese during the three-day siege of Nanjing by Japanese forces.

It alternates between scenes of battles and executions and slower scenes of moving human interactions to convey the horror of the Japanese atrocities from the perspective of both perpetrators and victims.

The movie also depicts efforts by a number of Westerners, including a member of Germany's Nazi party who was working in China for Siemens at the time, to try to protect locals from the Japanese soldiers by setting up and running a refuge area.

He managed to save more than 200,000 Chinese in Nanjing before being deported to Germany and his actions hurt the alliance between Nazi Germany and Japan, according to the movie.

The duration of the festival was cut this year from the usual 10 days to only nine, with the closing day set for September 26 when the Golden Shell award for best movie will be given out.

Other films in the official selection include "Get Low" by US director Aaron Schneider about a man throwing his own funeral party and "10 to 11", a French-Turkish-German coproduction about two lonely old men who live in the same building in Istanbul.

Last year's Golden Shell for best film went to Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu's "Pandora's Box."

US actor Brad Pitt drew large crowds of mostly female fans who asked for autographs after waiting for hours in the rain for him to arrive on the opening day of the festival on Friday for the presentation of his latest film "Inglourious Basterds".

The movie, by cult director Quentin Tarantino which depicts a roving Jewish-American militia that kills and scalps Nazis in occupied France, and which was unveiled at the Cannes festival in May, is not in competition at the festival, the largest and most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world.

No comments:

Post a Comment