"The horrific 1937-38 massacre of more than 200,000 Chinese during the early days of the Japanese occupation gets a polished presentation in Nanking
," writes Justin Chang
, calling the doc "a vital addition to the small body of reportage on a tragedy whose repercussions continue to be a source of pain and controversy."
, who paid for the movie himself and owns all rights, is hoping for a theatrical release, followed by DVD, TV and cable sales," writes Anne Thompson
in the Hollywood Reporter
. "Then he wants people to find the movie online. He plans to create a Nanking
portal full of material about the movie, where people can download the film for free. 'I'm not worried about piracy,' he said. 'I want people to share the movie.' How will he do this? 'We'll get a sponsor,' he said. After Leonsis recoups costs, he'll give the profits to charity, he promised, saying, 'Call me a filmanthropist.'"
argues that co-producer Bill Guttentag
and co-director Dan Sturman
almost got away with ripping off writer Elizabeth Bentley
"I'm less a fan of the film than simply an admirer of it," decides Eric Kohn
, blogging for the New York Press
, Mark Schilling
reports plans for a Japanese doc aimed at countering Nanking
's "fabrications," even as the Chinese are working on yet another doc as the 70th anniversary of the Massacre approaches.
"Unlike traditional historical docs, this one's edited at a pace that doesn't allow curiosity and voyeurism to overtake the initial shock of seeing rows of severed heads, bloated bodies, and starving children staring intently at the camera," writes Susan Gerhard
. "The script highlights how the Westerners creating the "safe" zone for nearly a quarter million Nanking refugees wished and tried to make calls out to the world - including the people of Japan, who they believe would put a stop to the situation if they knew the facts - and skillfully backs away from nationalist debates. This is a kind of bravery war docs rarely get the chance to celebrate, and in an era of learned helplessness, it couldn't come at a better time."
A "deeply affecting film," writes Kim Voynar
. "The scripted reading actually works more effectively than mere voiceover would have, bringing to life the people who were a part of the events that happened in Nanking during that time."
Coverage of the coverage: The Park City Index
Posted by dwhudson at January 23, 2007 2:03 PM