Film Review: Three Days in Nanking

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<p>The siege of the Chinese capital of Nanking in 1937, in which 300,000 civilians were killed by the Japanese army, has been chronicled in a number of dramas and documentaries–but none as lush and majestic as this recent Chinese epic. Filmed in elegiac black and white hues, <i>City of Life and Death</i> follows the three-day siege from the initial invasion to its conclusive killing fields. With more archetypes–the regretful Japanese soldier, the saintly Chinese mother–than characters, the film can be heavy-handed and overly brutal, but the cumulative, unflinching results befit such a harrowing tragedy.</p>
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</a>. This article first appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of <a title=”Utne Reader” href=”″ target=”_blank”>
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