John Rabe (2009)
Writer: Florian Gallenberger
Starring: Ulrich Tukur, Daniel Brühl, Steve Buscemi
a german man working for a german company manages a factory in nanking, china in 1937. the japanese attack and he leads an area that becomes a safe zone for the chinese, and ultimately saves 200,00ish chinese lives. true story on a real german named john rabe.
this was pretty exceptional. it was a little under 2 and a half hours and i didn't notice. i really appreciate when movie makers make the germans speak german, and the japanese speak japanese, and the chinese speak chinese, and the americans speak english. this was classified as a foreign movie, but you can't really tell because there are so many different languages represented it blurs the country of origin. i can dig that. it's also fascinating to me when i watch stories of WWII that i haven't seen represented before. the man was a nazi by name, but had been out of germany for twenty plus years, so didn't really comprehend what the nazi movement was about. they drove this fact home by the man who came to replace rabe in the beginning, who had just come from germany, and was appalled at how lackluster, and easygoing the men who claimed to be nazis ran their meeting. he was outraged that they would meet in the same room as the english, who had a photo of the king of england that they would take down during their meetings (sometimes) to reveal a painting of hitler. he had this idealistic vision of hitler and the nazis, which, apparently, never went away. he even went as far as to write hitler a letter about the japanese treatment of the chinese, asking for help to stop the executions and rapes of the people of nanking. who knew? a likable nazi who stuck up for other human beings, because they were human beings.
they really did a good job at showing the terrible things the japanese did during the occupation(?) of nanking. and looking at imdb, apparently, alot of japanese actors when approached about doing this film wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole because the japanese are still, rightfully so, a little touchy about their actions in nanking. interesting facts i did not know about history. excellent.
really good. ulrich tukur did an amazing job (and really looks like john rabe to boot) would recommend.