Synopsis: "Nanking" tells the story of the rape of Nanking, one of the most tragic events in history. In 1937, the invading Japanese army murdered over 200,000 and raped tens of thousands of Chinese. In the midst of the horror, a small group of Western expatriates banded together to save 250,000 -- an act of extraordinary heroism. Bringing an event little-known outside of Asia to a global audience, "Nanking" shows the tremendous impact individuals can make on the course of history. It is a gripping account of light in the darkest of times.
Production: ThinkFilm
  7 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

I think everyone is here.

If you'd all please take your seats,

we can get started.

George Fitch, Christmas Eve, Nanking,

China, 1937.

What I am about to relate is a story

which I feel must be told,

even if it is seen by only a few.

I cannot rest until I have told it and,

perhaps fortunately,

I am one of a very few

who are in a position to tell it.

It is not complete, only a part of the whole,

and God alone knows

when it will be finished.

I pray it may be soon,

but I am afraid it is going to go on

for many months to come.

I believe it has no parallel

in modern history.

Bob Wilson.

I was born and grew up here in China.

My parents were both missionaries.

I went away to medical school at Harvard,

but I came back here to live,

and practice medicine.

Nanking is my home.

Minnie Vautrin. Dean of Ginling

Women's College in Nanking.

I'm from Secor, Illinois,

a small farming town on the prairie.

John Rabe.

I moved to China from Hamburg

on business, over 30 years ago.

I married my childhood sweetheart

from Germany,

and we raised our two children here.

For the last six years, I've been director

of Siemens China company,

here in Nanking, the capital.

March of Time newsreel, August, 1937.

"Today, out of the Far East,

come grim messages of a new conflict."

" The gory chronicle of Japan's war

to crush all of China..."

and gain for herself

sole mastery of the Orient.

Shanghai tastes war at its worst.

For, in a war of today,

there is a new element:

a fearsome, haphazard, modern fighting

that takes its toll on peaceful cities

and their non-combatant populations.

We always knew Japan wanted China.

I knew it since I was little.

My parents always said,

"Japan wants to conquer China because

we have all the land and all the wealth."

And we were right next door.

Everywhere, dugouts can be seen.

In some places,

they are as close as every 200 feet.

Just as you would show

your rose garden

to your friends when they call,

now it's customary

to take your friends to your trenches

and caves, to ask their opinion.

Today, we had a genuine thrill.

The first air raid

that any of us had ever experienced.

It probably won't be the last.

During the worst of the bombing,

on the 19th and 20th of September,

I sat with my Chinese

in our homemade dugout,

which is certainly not bomb-proof,

but at least provides protection

against shrapnel and bomb fragments.

Out in the garden, we've also spread

a 20-by-20-foot piece of canvas,

with a swastika painted on it.

In the long hours

of crouching in the dugout,

during the recent bombardment,

I turned on Radio Shanghai

to take my mind off things

with a little music.

And they were playing

Beethoven's "Funeral March"!

Then, to make matters worse,

they announced to their listeners,

"This music is kindly dedicated to you

by the Shanghai Funeral Directors."

Most of the shops

on the business streets are locked,

and the city has a deserted and forlorn look.

The glances cast at me as much as say,

"What? Are you still here?"

September 25th.

This has been a terrible day.

Bombs seem to be raining around.

Nanking was subjected

to three terrific air raids.

The count of raids and alarms

has now risen to 39.

Gallons of civilian blood flowed today.

Under such circumstances, can I...

May I cut and run?

I don't think so.

Anyone who has ever sat in the dugout and

held a trembling Chinese child in each hand

through the long hours of an air raid

can understand what I feel.

The rich are fleeing.

The poor remain behind.

They don't know where to go.

They don't have the means to flee.

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Bill Guttentag

Bill Guttentag is a double Oscar-winning dramatic and documentary film writer-producer-director. His films have premiered at the Sundance, Cannes, Telluride and Tribeca film festivals. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Nanking" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Oct. 2021. <>.

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