Thursday, December 30, 2010
Chinese Version of Schindler’s List/Learning History-II
Recently, the Chinese government approved two films (Associated Press): “City of Life and Death” which examines the Nanjing massacre through the eyes of a Chinese soldier, and “John Rabe” which is about German businessman, John Rabe, the head of the 7-sq. km. International Committee for the Nanjing Safety Zone (ICNSZ), who saved about 200,000 Chinese civilians from the Rape of Nanjing during December 1937-February 1938. Based on a true story, “John Rabe” is a biographical film based upon the diary of John Rabe, a Siemens electrical equipment executive who is regarded as a hero in China, a Chinese Oskar Schindler. The $20 million joint project between China and German film companies which premiered in Germany on 2 April 2009, stars the Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu, German actor Ulrich Tukur, American actor Steve Buscemi, and Japanese actors Kagawa Teruyuki, as well as Emoto Akira and was shot in Nanjing and Shanghai. The project had difficulty finding Japanese actors who were willing to participate in the film as a number of the Japanese actors refused to sign on to the film due to political reasons. In “John Rabe,” the uncle of Emperor Hirohito is viewed as the primary person who was responsible for Rape of Nanjing. Unfortunately, in Japan, “John Rabe” will not be shown because strong pressures from the right-wing groups have forced the prohibition of this film. No film distributors dare to show the film in Japan. Is this way for Japan to educate its young generation by prohibiting “John Rabe?” This film will represent Germany in the foreign-language category at next year's Academy Awards.