January 23, 2007

Sundance. Nanking.

"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 in Variety, 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."


"[Ted] Leonsis, 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.'"

David Poland argues that co-producer Bill Guttentag and co-director Dan Sturman almost got away with ripping off writer Elizabeth Bentley.

And indieWIRE interviews them.

Update, 1/24: "I'm less a fan of the film than simply an admirer of it," decides Eric Kohn, blogging for the New York Press.

Update, 1/25: For Variety, 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.

Updates, 1/29: "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 for indieWIRE. "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 at Cinematical. "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."

Update, 1/30: And Voynar interviews Leonsis.

Coverage of the coverage: The Park City Index.

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Posted by dwhudson at January 23, 2007 2:03 PM


I also believed the existence of Nanking Incindent...until 8 years ago. However, I knew each evidence of Nanking Incident turned out false next to next, I have become to convince that Nanking Incident is full of false. There is the controversy whether Nanking Incident took place actually or not. China insists that 300,000 were killed, however, there is no photo to prove it though more than 120 press persons were there. Mr.Leonsis's Film "Nanking" is Documentary or Propaganda? Which do you think?

I believe the essence of documentary film is the journalistic mind. The journalistic mind appears the attitude to search for the truth. To pursue the truth to the greatest extent possible is the achievement of the documentary film. The finest documentary filmshave been evaluated from viewpoint of achievement level how they approached the truth. Do you agree with my opinion?I proposed Mr. Ted Leonsis to insert the following descriptions to the photos and films in film "nanking", 1) When was the photo taken? 2) Who took the photo? 3) Where was the photo taken?
Please pay attention to the description of photos and films in this film "Nanking". Because all 143 photos that China offered asevidence of Nanking Massacre turned out fake and fabricated by the study of Japanese historian groups. There is not photo to proveNanking Massacre at all in the fact. Unless films and photos in "Nanking" have the above descriptions, it must be China's propaganda film.

And yet, it is the fact that nobody witnessed murders. I can prove it easily. If you doubt me, please check on the records of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trial: 1946-1948). This Military Tribunal summoned 4 Westerners weremembers of Nanking Safety Zone. At this Tribunal, These 4 Westerners testified, "We did not witness any murder at all. We reported just things that we heard from someone." In short,� Nanking Incident" was made of "HEARSAY". These testimonies remains’ even now both in United States National Archives and Records Administration and Japan National Diet Library. As you know, the modern courts don't adopt "HEARSAY" as evidence.

And, at the end, I suppose...the scene that some Japanese soldiers testified as if Nanking Massacre took place actually will appear in film "Nanking", However, please watch the scene with considering the following points,

Even if some Japanese soldiers testified the existence of Nanking Incident, most Japanese soldiers testified, "We did not know it at all." They can not say, "Nanking Massacre did not take place at all." Because they did not witness it actually. Therefore, they cannot both affirm and deny "Nanking Incident". It would be strange if they deny Nanking Incident though they did not witness it. They were only surprised to hear that "Nanking Massacre took place". Therefore, nobody could deny Nanking Incident. They are honest and have common sense.

Even if some Japanese soldiers testified the existence of Nanking Incident, how many people do you think only some Japanese soldiers could kill? 100? 10,000? 100,000? No way!! It is obvious that only some Japanese soldiers could not kill more than10,000 people without atomic bombs. It is obvious that only some Japanese soldiers could not hide more than 10,000 dead bodies without magic. Why nobody took any photos of this killing field though more than 120 press persons were there?

Please watch film "nanking" with having the above questions.  You will understand which film “Nanking� belongs to, Documentary
or Propaganda…


Posted by: TAMAGAWABOAT at January 25, 2007 6:32 PM

"There is the controversy whether Nanking Atrocities took place actualy between Japan and China. At present, most of Japanese people that are interest in Nanking Incident think "Nanking Incident did not take place at all. Nanking Incident is just only China Communist Party's Propaganda. Because this is reasonable thinking way. Which do you believe, Japan or China? I know well people tend to believe the things that they want to believe.

Why there is the controversy whether Nanking Atrocities took place actualy?

1)Because all 143 pictures that China offered as evidence of Nanking Incident turned out fake and fabricated. Japanese historian groups proved China has been telling lies to let people believe the existence of Nanking Incident.

2)And yet, no Westerners witnessed Nanking Incident. Tokyo Trial summoned 4 Westerners (John G. Magee, George Ashmore Fitch, Miner Searle Bates, and Robert O. Wilson) who were members of Nanking Safety Zone. This Tokyo Trial proved that there was none of 4 Westerners witnessed murders in Nanking. This record of 4 Westerners' testimonies remains even now both in United States National Archives and Records Administration and Japan National Diet Library. So, film "Nanking" is not documentary film but China's propaganda film.

3)I think Ted Leonsis who produced film"Nanking" is China's Propaganda Agent. Ted Leonsis repeats the same words, "Japan never admit Nanking Holocaust, Japan never apologize to China for Nanking Holocaust." This is the objective of film "nanking", right? Ted Leonsis wants to make Japan admit "Nanking Incindent". Ted Leonsis said in addional, "This film is not for Anti-Japan but Anti-war." Do you think so? I don't think so. Because his words is the same as usual China's statement. The objective of film "Nanking" is to arouse Anti-Japan Sentiment among people. So, film "Nanking" is not documentary film but China's propaganda film. Most Japanese love the peace. Japan has been going well without fighting against any countries for 61 years after WW2. How about China?

4)I think film "Nanking" is very dangerous film. Do you know“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"? This book was fabricated “Fiction� for the purpose of arousing anti-Semitic among Russian people by the secret police of the Russian Empire in 1905. This book made Jew’s plot theory “The Jew is plotting the world domination� known to European society. Though numerous independent investigations have repeatedly proven it to be a plagiarism and a hoax, many European people believed the rumor “The Jew is plotting the world domination�.The Protocols also became a part of the Nazi propaganda effort to justify persecution of the Jews. Hitler said, “Whether this book is true is not important. The existence of this book is very important.� Hitler used the Protocols as a manual in his war to exterminate the Jews. As a result, the largest-ever tragedy occurred. The purpose of Film “Nanking� is to impress upon people in the world for how Japanese are cruel and barbarous. Ted leonsis is the person who scatters “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion� to the world. The exclusive nationalism gains power all over the world. I worry about the misfortune that will happen to all Japanese in the future.


Posted by: TAMAGAWABOAT at January 29, 2007 10:40 PM