City of Life and Death (2011)
Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8.6/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 3,542
Within the scope of Asian history, few events carry the ugly and sickening connotations of the Rape of Nanking. Japanese forces invaded that Chinese city on December 9, 1937, and in the six weeks to follow, soldiers raped thousands of women and annihilated hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Director Lu Chuan directs this black-and-white docudrama account of that horrifying six-week period, with the benefit of an ensemble cast that includes Hideo Nakaizumi as a conscience-stricken
May 11, 2011 Limited
Oct 25, 2011
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It is not an easy film, and perhaps a touch too relentless, but it is a great reminder of how bloody, mad and awful this world can be.
Lu Chuan makes this feature film soar by telling the story both through the eyes of the Japanese occupiers and the defenseless Chinese civilians in the ancient capital. It makes the savagery all the more senseless.
Exquisitely shot in black and white, with a rare attention to detail and dramatic complexity, "City of Life and Death" is a timelessly great film that commands our collective attention.
In almost any form, the story of the Nanking atrocities can leave you profoundly shaken. But Lu Chuan's version may be the most compassionate and emotionally satisfying treatment to date.
Lu tells the heartbreaking, nearly unbearable story with compassion, controlled fury and unflinching realism.
...among the greatest war films ever made. Rich in humanist themes and absolutely unflinching in its depiction of the moral chaos and physical violence of war.
City of Life and Death puts a convincing image to the abstract history.
Chinese filmmaker Chuan Lu has tackled a vast and ambitious subject in City of Life and Death. I knew very little about the siege on Nanjing (or Nanking, as Westerners have long referred to it) in 1937; I feel as if I understand it now, in all...
Despite a puzzling, ridiculously benign view of Japanese sex slaves, this is a brutal depiction of the bestiality of the Japanese Rape of Nanjing that is long overdue.
There is no way to soften the events presented, even though Lu spares us some documented atrocities that are as bad or worse than what we see. The result is both moving and exhausting.
A work of grim art told with relentlessly restless curiosity about the human capacity for survival.
The most visceral war film since Saving Private Ryan - a portrait of the hopeless in the grasp of a sadistic oppressor.
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