评论翻译:15. Nanking mystery
As there are so many unknowns in Nanking tragedy, no one really knows what happened and how many people were killed. This movie is another version made by the Chinese and as such, it is skewed to the Chinese viewpoint. There are many soldier's diaries and confessions by Japanese soldiers who committed these horrible acts. It will be interesting if the Japanese make a movie based upon their records. The truth of Nanking lies between the two.
14. The Rape of Nanking
Every generation has its own examples of mans inhumanity to man. What is truly troubling is not are brutal and inhumane is not news; that we do not evolve should be.
– LEForbes, Newport, RI
13. A classic film, and review errata
This is best film I've seen in Chinese cinemas in the several years that I've been here. I consider it not only a classic Chinese film, but a classic of world cinema.
I'm glad to see the reviewer has good things to say about the film, but I'm not thrilled by the article's headline which makes the film sound like some of extreme torture porn. The reviewer does in the end recognize the work's artfulness as transcending the depraved war crimes which are evoked on the screen in varying degrees. Lu Chuan's artistic strength is virtuosic ally blending the breadth of human experience with the cinematic recreation of the ordeal in Nanking, so that it's much more than a Grand Guignol scenario.
While reviewers note that the film depicts the humanity and culture of the Japanese Fascists, albeit almost singularly through the lone character of Kadowaka, reviewers are missing that a power of the film is its honesty in recognizing the cowardice and collaborationist tendencies of certain Chinese, thusly humanizing both the aggressors and victims. This is also a major step up from "Schindler's List", another skilled depiction of genocide to which "City of Life and Death" is obviously indebted. The former has the major flaw of depicting the Jewish people as saintly lamb-like innocents and ends up the much more propagandistic of the two films.
The errata of the review must be addressed, as pointed out by Michael Barnes in "Some problems with this review":
1) The misidentified actress in the photo caption is Jiang Yiyan, not Guo Yuanyuan.
2) The scene referred to as "the Chinese surging to escape and the advancing Japanese soldiers who refuse to let them pass" is indeed two groups of Nationalist Chinese soldiers: the former are deserters fleeing the city while the Japanese are still outside the city gates, and the latter are the loyal Chinese troops trying to block the flight of the traitors. It's a rather gross error on the part of the reviewer.
3) It's indeed not correct to refer to the scorched earth "Three Alls Policy" as applicable to 1937 Nanking. As Mr. Barnes pointed out, Wikipedia has the information that this is a Chinese Nationalist WWII anti-communist policy applied some years after the 1937 Rape of Nanking. He neglected to say that the Japanese also applied this policy systematically against the Chinese; however, Nanking was not razed; furthermore the policy as attributed to the Japanese followed a few years after the historic Nanjing event of 1937.
In conclusion, while I'm in fundamental agreement with what the reviewer's take on the film , I think the movie deserves criticism from someone who's a bit more educated about modern Chinese history than what's evidenced by references to an Iris Chang book.
– Zuo Shou, PR China
Yes, just like Michael Barnes found, the women portrayed in the photo is not played by actress Gao Yuanyuan. Actually it is by actress Jiang Yiyan.
– Shanghai, China
So what. This few hundred thousand people is nothing. It pale in comparison of what our great beloved Party has done in China. At least 70 million people were sacrifice for the betterment of China by the Communist Party. This reality of having a strong and powerful Party of omnipresence is the current situation in China. China is a great nation because of the great and powerful party. We can kill more Chinese than little Japan!!!
– Poiuy, London, UK
10. Japan's war policy's were a true example of thinking among the elite.
I've always found it interesting how a feudalistic society forced its self to conform to the what was interpreted as the Wests cultural norms. Though history there is none like it, a culturally isolated people travel over night from the 12th century to the 18th within one generation, From whips to steam, replacing swords with maxim machine guns. Is it no wonder this country had teething problems? (and still does, from a idealized western Christan moral stand point ) .
In no way am i saying the wests model is the correct "way" to live and govern a country, but looked at from the prospective of a proud warrior ruling class, forced to drug their own people by a strange and giant people, whom looked and smelled so unlike themselves; confronted by technology both terrible and foreign.
I think i can understand how such a people would value the lives of others so little.
Anyways, im sure im muddling my thoughts here.
I will definitely see this movie, and appreciate the writing of the reviewer.
– Vic Anselmo, Florida
9. It's intense
I had the opportunity to see the film in Chinese, and it's pretty intense. I have to say, there are two things that stand out the most in my mind about the massacre- the first was a highly publicized "contest" in Japanese newspapers between two Japanese soldiers who competed to kill 100 Chinese civilians. The contest was so close they decided to make it 200. The second, and really shocking event was the role of the Red Swastika, and the Siemens company that saved upwards of 200,000 people from the Japanese.
– Martinmo, Washington, D.C.
8. A Tale of Nanjing Atrocity that Spare No Brutal Details
Stephen Brown likened what happened in Nanjing to what some Americans did in Iraq. The differences are many, e.g. 1. The U.S. government and the American public at large did (and do) not condone the mistreatment of Iraqis; whereas the brutality of the Japanese soldiers was sanctioned by the emperor himself as a reward for having sustained the unyielding resistance by a Chinese officer and the 300 soldiers under him garrisoned in a warehouse for 3 months until they depleted their bullets and provisions, hence delaying the Japanese seizure of Shanghai. 2. The degree, scale and concentration of various forms of bestiality committed by the Japanese soldiers were unparalleled in the mordern annals of human cruelty. Indeed neither Stalin nor Hitler were the equals of the Japanese army in Nanjing. 3. Whatever in their traditions, cultural characteristics and ethical/moral precept that allow for the neutralization of such depravity as normal victor's due is uniquely Japanese. Indeed, today when I meet some Japanese people (I retired from an international organization after 30 years and had the occasion of meeting a number of them) they are behaving with such civility, but when they talk about the war, few expressed any regrets or apology, which leads me to think it is probably a Dr.Jykul and Mr. Hyde syndrome in their national personality. Prime Minister Koizuni felt no compunction in paying homage to Yasukuni shrine where the war criminals were buried. It was obviously supported by the public opinion, for when his successors, to allay resentment expressed particularly by Korea and China, decided not to visit the shrine, they were criticized by the people. Imagine if Germany has put up a memorial for Hitler! The Nanjing Massacre (and the hateful behavior of Japanese occupiers in general) has left such an indelible memory in my generation of Chinese that my kith and kin were incredulous when I tried to encourage them to donate to the Japanese earthquake victims. Having lived through the Sino-Japanese war years as a child, I have many personal experiences I could recount but it would take reams of paper. By the way, to the writer who doubted the authenticity of the story, there are some photographs taken by the Japanes themselves in Iris Change's book (and elsewhere, I remember seeing a smiling Japanese officer with a sword on one hand and the other hand clutching the hair of a severed head published in the Denver Post around the time when Iris Chang's book was published). One could possibly google them.
史蒂芬布朗想把南京发生的事情弄得像美国在伊拉克做过的事情一样。但是区别有很多，例如1：美国政府和大众从来没有为伊拉克事件感到光荣，而日本皇帝自己则对他们士兵的兽行做出了奖赏。一支被奖赏的守备队曾经受到中国士兵持续不断的顽强抵抗，例如300名士兵在一个仓库誓死血战直到3个月后弹尽粮绝。这也因此延缓了上海被占领的时间。2：日本人的暴行，无论在程度，规模还是种类上都是现代人类史上之最。无论媲美斯大林还是希特勒都无法与之相比。3：纵观他们的历史，文化和道德标准，只有日本才会把这些行为当成正常的胜利者应做的事。事实上，今日我见过的一些日本人（我30年前从一家国际组织退休，因此我有机会见到不少日本人）他们的行为举止如此有礼貌，可当他们谈到战争的时候却极少表现出后悔和歉意。这让我觉得他们的民族特性有着双重人格。（注：此处使用的专有名词Dr.Jykul and Mr. Hyde syndrome意为双重人格。参见中译版< <傑柯博士和海德先生>>）日本首相小泉纯一郎在参拜供奉战犯的靖国神社的时候没有感到一次悔。很显然，这是有公众民意支持的，当他的继任者，想要减少尤其来自中国和韩国的愤怒时，决定不参拜靖国神社，却被他们的人民所批评。想想如果德国人建立了一个希特勒纪念馆吧。南京大屠杀（以及日本人总体上的令人厌恶的行为）给和我同一代的中国人留下了难以磨灭的记忆，所以当我动员我的亲戚们给日本地震捐款时他们表现得很怀疑。而且就我个人幼年经历了两次中日战争的经验来说，我有很多话要说，这将花去大量的笔墨去描述。顺便，致某些对这段故事心存怀疑的作者们，Iris Change的书里面有不少日本人自己拍的照片，（我记得其中有一张是一个微笑的日本军官拿着一把插着人头的剑，另一只手紧紧抓人头头发的照片）你们可以去google一下
– c.k.chen, yountville, CA 94599
7. history or rubbernecking
if it is a question of learning via a film about a particular/singular historical experience, fine. But if it is another instance of reducing understanding to rubbernecking, not fine.
– henry, san francisco
One issue of word choice... the bodies "stacked like wood" were not those of prostitutes, but of (the euphemistically named) comfort women. While there was a Japanese comfort woman who appeared to be willingly offering her services to the Japanese soldiers in the movie, the Chinese (and Korean) women were given no such choice, horrifically raped, and certainly not compensated for their pain. This practice of systematically brutalizing women was one of the immense atrocities that took place during this war and needs to be named correctly.
– Cynthia Wu, Pittsburgh, PA
5. Japanese brutality
The brutality of the Japanese during WWII cannot be understated. They should be equated to the horrifics of Nazi Germany, or worse. I am glad there are movies and media like this that tries to shed light on an issue that the Japanese wishes to be kept in the dark.
– Dee, USA
4. Some problems with this review
There are some problems with this review:
1) The woman protrayed in the photo is a prostitute character in the movie, not the John Rabe assistant played by Gao Yuanyuan, as the caption incorrectly states.
2) If this passage in the review refers to the scene I think it does "he begins cutting between the Chinese surging to escape and the advancing Japanese soldiers who refuse to let them pass," that scene involves two different groups of Chinese soldiers.
3) The "three alls policy" (kill all, loot all, burn all) reference is ahistoric. That policy was implemented to fight the Chinese communists guerrillas in northern China after 1940. The rape of Nanjing occurred in 1937. See Wikipedia. Sadly, the three alls policy shared some similarities with the U.S. strategic hamlet policy in the Vietnam war, or any number of other scorched-earth policies, including those used by the Nationalist Chinese army in WWII.
The movie is a bit too "balanced" and understated for me. The unspeakable brutality against women during the rape of Nanjing is actually extremely understated in this movie. Contrary to the teaser on the home page, the movie spares quite a lot of brutal detail. The level of systematic bestiality on the part of the Japanese Imperial Army was at a level that remains beyond comprehension to this day.
– Michael Barnes, Albany, CA
3. Who produced?
The film appears to be "Chinese"; it's certainly about China in the past. But is this a project from Hong Kong, Taiwan or the so called Peoples's Republic? Does the Chinese Government have influence (or worse) on the script, editing, etc. As we know, this is not a small point. You can judge on work on face value, but it helps to know about it's context (the intimate vs. the immense?).
– lscott, miami
2. the Rape of Iraq
We have committed the same crimes against humanity in Iraq... the planned execution, by a perverse American soldier, of that young, 15 year old farmer's son as he stood in his field. This is the great human tragedy, the bleeding human flaw.
– stephan brown, brewster, ma.
1. A remarkable Chinese film
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