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456 Ratings

City of Life and Death

Nanjing! Nanjing!

Directed by Lu Chuan
Hong Kong, China, 2009
Drama, History, War


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.

Our take

Few filmmakers have gone so far to dramatize historical atrocities. In disarmingly gorgeous, stark, and widescreen B&W photography, alongside a minimal score, Lu Chuan visualizes the era to reveal the humanity and pinpoint the villainy. This is a heart-breaking, unmissable landmark film.

City of Life and Death Directed by Lu Chuan

Awards & Festivals

San Sebastián International Film Festival

2009 | 3 wins including: Best Cinematography

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

2011 | Winner: Best Foreign Film

2011 | 2nd place: Best Cinematography



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