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CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH
aka NANJING! NANJING!
USA: Kino International
UK: High Fliers Films
Cast: Liu Ye, Fan Wei, Hideo Nakaizumi, Gao Yuanyuan, John Paisley, Qin Lan, Beverly Peckous, Jiang Yiyan, Ryu Kohata, Liu Bin, Yuko Miyamoto, Sam Voutas
Director: Lu Chuan
Language: Chinese Mandarin (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 135 mins
USA Rated: R for wartime violence and atrocities including sexual assault, and for some sexuality and brief nudity
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong battle violence and sexual violence
USA Release Date: 13 May 2011 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 16 April 2010 (Limited Release)
The onset of World War II gathers pace, as the Japanese advance on the capital Nanjing and begin their bombardment. Both Beijing and Shanghai have already fallen and the city is decimated and its remaining citizens are facing annihilation.
Lu, a Chinese General continues a guerrilla-like defence of Nanjing with little ammunition remaining but they stoically refuse to abandon it. Then as the Japanese occupation begins, Mr & Mrs Tang (Fan Wei and Qin Lan) flee along with other refugees to the International Safety Zone operated by the city's few remaining foreigners - one of whom is John Rabe (John Paisley).
Meanwhile a Japanese soldier, Kadokawa Hideo Nakaizumi), is shocked by the brutality of the unfolding invasion - a vicious war where everyone's trying to survive but where death looks an easier option then life…