The Flowers of War
I wanted to see a film about the Nanking Massacre/Nanking Rapes. This movie, directed by Zhang Yimou, is based on a novella by Gelling Yan, and it takes place during this tragic genocide. The Nanking Massacre occurred over a period of six weeks starting December 13, 1937, when the Japanese captured the Chinese city of Nanjing at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Imperial Japanese Army murdered Chinese civilians and raped any female in sight as they secured the perimeter of the city of Nanking. The number of deaths caused by the Japanese is still contested today. The number fluctuates between 40,000-300,00 people. The controversy remains a very sensitive issue today in Asia-Pacific relations. The Japanese destroyed all records of the atrocities and kept them secret until after their surrender in 1945.
I found this movie very somber. It was not easy to watch, and I would never be able to (or would want to ) show it in any classroom. In my opinion, it is a very important historical movie. It depicts an atrocity that should always remain a topic of historical discussion. It shows humanity, sacrifice, and salvation. I tried to find some interview with the director Zhang Yimou. Most of these were in the Chinese language as the director only speaks Chinese. I found a few in English and learned some interesting facts about the talented, artistic, cinematic genius, Mr. Zhang Yimou. The director stated in an interview that he liked the story because it was told from two perspectives; the one of a 13-year-old schoolgirl and the one of a prostitute. I found it very interesting that three languages were spoken in this movie: English, Mandarin Chinese (as I found out from reading the interview, specifically, the Nanjing dialect), and Japanese. This is a very hard movie to watch, but it shows the triumph of humanity during a dark period in Chinese history.