Nanking

First Hit: This is a powerful film providing a glimpse at one of the worst massacres of World War II.

Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman did an outstanding job of interweaving archival still photographs, film footage, current day interviews, and the journals of a small group of Westerners who, by establishing a security zone in Nanking, were able to save thousands of lives during the takeover by the Japanese.

The light shone by this film focuses on the utter disregard for the lives of the Chinese citizens living in Nanking by the Japanese soldiers. The soldiers raped thousands of women old and young alike along with killing more than 20,000 citizens in this once proud, productive capital city.

The journals were read by actors including Mariel Hemingway, Woody Harrelson, and Jurgen Prochnow. The interviews were heartbreaking, enlightening and included both Japanese soldiers and Chinese citizens of Nanking.

Overall: I left the film filled with compassion, sadness, and sorrow that man continues to, in the 21st Century, think that war solves problems or can be humane.