I use to work in the medical field in China and Japan and my first foreign language was German. I am now refreshing my German for a month trip this summer to German with my son. Thus, the 2009 film “John Rabe” was at treat for me. Not only was it another film with a great redemptive theme, but I also got to listen to Chinese, German and Japanese in the same film.
More than this, the film taught me a part of the 1937 history of the rape of Nanjing that I never knew. In the 1980s I had many conversations with older Japanese business men who swore that the Nanjing massacre was a total myth. This continues: in May 1994, the Japanese Justice Minister, Shigeto Nagano, called the Nanjing Massacre a “fabrication”. And in February 2012 Takashi Kawamura, mayor of Nagoya, and Tokyo Governor Takashi Kawamura said the Rape of Nanjing “probably never happened”!
As always, reading a few articles while watching (and sometimes pausing) the film makes the experience incredibly deeper.
- John Rabe (wiki)
- Nanjing Massacre (wiki)
- CIA “interventions” (so as not to only focus on Japan)
- US Atrocities in the Philippines and Nagasaki (so as to keep the horror in perspective)