Earlier this year Kim reviewed the documentary Nanking when it premiered at Sundance. Nanking related the experiences of a small group of Westerners who banded together to save as many lives as they could when the Japanese army invaded China in the latter part of 1937. In view of the reported atrocities that took place on a massive scale involving hundreds of thousands of people -- which is still a point of contention and debate -- it's not surprising to hear that more films on the subject will be coming soon. In addition to the previously-announced The Forbidden City (supposedly to star Alec Baldwin), The Rape of Nanking (a Chinese/UK/US co-production, based on Iris Chang's book), and The Truth About Nanjing (by a Japanese filmmaker), two Chinese filmmakers are jumping into the fray.

Yim Ho, whose best-known film outside China is Pavilion of Women with Willem DaFoe, is trying to bring Nanking Christmas 1937 to the screen. As with the documentary Nanking, the English-language feature will focus on Westerners helping local Chinese residents. Yim has been working on the project for years, and the script was finally approved by Chinese authorities in March. Meanwhile, Lu Chuan (pictured above) is working on an epic war movie called Nanking! Nanking!; the script has also gained necessary government approvals. The events in Nanjing have personal resonance for Lu, since he attended school in that city and heard so many stories about the massacre that he's wanted to make a film about it ever since. Lu's last film, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, a gorgeous drama about poachers in Tibet and the volunteers who tried to stop them, was truly inspiring, so in my mind, that gives his film the inside track. Expect more controversy in the months to come.


[Via ScreenDaily]
categories Cinematical