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City of Life and Death

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City of Life and Death

"City of Life and Death" was directed by Chuan Lu and was released in 2009. The movie retold the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army upon the fall of Nanking in 1937 on civilians who were left behind. Moreover, the movie also highlighted the horrors of Chinese women who were forced to provide "service" to the Imperial Army in the role of comfort women. The movie was filmed in black-and-white which exuded a sense of historical nostalgia--and coincidentally suppressed the gore factor for those faint of heart. Even though it was made in China, the movie was not too heavy-handed in vilifying the Japanese invaders. In place of it, the movie sought to balance out the pervasive wartime evil with a touch of humanity illustrated by a young Japanese soldier. Overall, this movie seemed successful in recreating the Rape of Nanking. This movie is best presented to high school students since it is inundated with violent scenes of rapes and murder.