Based on recorded witness testimony from real-life survivors, City of Life and Death is a stunning depiction of the Rape of Nanking, meticulously recreating the infamous reign of terror conducted by the occupying Japanese army in the Chinese capital in 1937.
Incredible picture on all levels from director Lu Chuan who gives a masterful take on the Rape of Nanking. Lu is one of the best directors to emerge in the last fifteen years from China but the growth from his two first features (Missing Gun and Kekexili) is staggering. Cinematography by Cao Yu is breathtaking and the performances captured are genuine and exacting. One can only be left breathless by the images.
The best (anti) war film of the past decade, it's shockingly brutal impact is akin to that of the brilliant 1985 effort from Russia "Come and See." Gorgeously shot with a great turn from the beautiful Gao Yuanyuan, Lu Chuan is definitely one of the more interesting director's coming out of the mainland China.
Incredible story based on true events. Most profound War story I have seen in a long time. The action and audio of combat is TOO real. Surprisingly even handed treatment of the things soldiers do in war.
The black and white is lucious. This is a superior film from the people's republic.