Nanking, a documentary about the 1937 invasion of the then-capital of China by the Japanese army, competed at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in the documentary competition. Nanking producer Ted Leonsis sat down with Cinematical at Sundance to talk about the film (full disclosure: Leonsis is an executive with AOL, Cinematical's parent company).
Cinematical: The first question I have is about how you came to be involved with this film – it's my understanding that your involvement in this film was much more personal than a producer's role often is.
Ted Leonsis: I was on vacation with my family and went to a bookstore and everything was in French. And the owner had 45 days of the NYT and so I bought them all and read them all. And one of the things in there was an obituary that said, noted author Iris Chang had committed suicide, and as I read it I saw that she was married with two children; I'm married with two children, and I so I was drawn by that. And then I later threw the newspapers in the garbage and that obituary landed on top and as I was going in and out I kept seeing it. As we left I ran back in and grabbed it and stuck it in my briefcase. Then when I got home I did some research on her in Amazon, and bought all her books and was drawn to the story about Nanking.
More after the jump ...