Hei tai yang: Nan Jing da tu sha (Men Behind The Sun 4) (Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hei tai yang: Nan Jing da tu sha (Men Behind The Sun 4) (Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre) Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2013
The Nanking Massacre was one of the biggest atrocities committed by the Japanese. This fourth film illustrates the harrowing nightmare of the crimes during the massacre. Like the first film, this is accurate in showing what it was like, and it has the take no prisoners feel that made the first film so disturbing. This is a piece of history in the sense that it happened, and it is somewhat of a necessary viewing in order for humanity to prevent these types of atrocities to happen again. The series is truly disturbing, but does work well as a teaching aid, in order for us to understand how history is essential in preventing us from this sort of thing again. This is a hard film to watch and it is graphic in its content, but it's how it was. This was what the Japanese did in Nanking, and it is a disturbing, but necessary portrait of the tragic events that happened. As a whole, it's a decent film, but like the original, is only worth seeing once, if you can handle due to its content. There are aspect that could have been improved upon, but the director did a fairly decent job at capturing the chaos of the atrocities on film. Despite this, this doesn't warrant multiple viewings and it should be seen if only you're interested in the history of the ordeal. Watch it with the understanding that this is a film that will most likely offend, and in that respect, you won't forget it, because after all, this is a film based on real events, and the Nanking Massacre was one of the many tragic mass murders that occurred during the Second World War.
½ May 12, 2012
(*** 1/2): Thumbs Up

The film was dark and violent but it kept me interested throughout. A tough film to watch but it was a powerful experience.
½ July 4, 2009
Brutal, brutal stuff. The beginning caught me off guard, as I was expecting the cheesiness from Laboratory of the Devil and A Narrow Escape (The second and third films in the series). No such luck; it's bleak drama in its unadulterated form, returning to the morbid realism from the first Men Behind the Sun. It's part of the Men Behind the Sun series, I guess, because in Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre, the Japanese are portrayed as racial-supremacist villains, and the black, morbid mood doesn't let up for the entire film. The events are different; no Unit 731, but it probably links both the unethical experimentations with the Rape of Nanking, as both document the Japanese treating the non-Japanese as subhuman. The few characters we sympathize with are disposed of like objects. All Chinese civilians are targets to whatever heinous acts the Japanese military can come up with. They remorselessly kill and it's literally a free for all with the Japanese wielding weapons, and the Chinese defenselessly recoiling in terror. I'd known and read about the Massacre before, but was not aware of its historical controversy in terms of dispute; apparently, some deny the statistics. Reading over sourced articles online, the numbers appear the same, and it's pretty accurate to what Black Sun shared visually and in text. Black Sun is intent on providing documented evidence with documentary footage, and photos of certain incidents during the Massacre. Disturbing!
February 22, 2009
Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre (Tun Fei Mou, 1995)

Most of the time I was watching Black Sun, I was mulling over one question: is this really a Man Behind the Sun film, as it was marketed both here and in its native Hong Kong? It is, I think, in the same sense that Killing Birds had anything to do with the Zombie franchise, or The Ogre anything to do with the Demons franchise. In other words, it was a convenient marketing ploy to draw the rubes to a movie they would probably have not otherwise seen. But where Killing Birds and The Ogre are both awful, awful films after which everyone who went to a theater to see them should have demanded their money back, Black Sun, Mou's final film (to date; while he has not directed for the past sixteen years, he is still alive), may well be his best, in terms of technical filmmaking. It's possible that film wasn't given the Man Behind the Sun brand to expose it to Mou fans (he directed the infamous 1988 film that kicked off the series), but in order to save the brand itself from the execrable second and third films, Laboratory of the Devil and A Narrow Escape, both directed by martial-arts hack Godfrey Ho. (A terrible choice to have anything to do with the franchise... but I digress.)

I'm sure you won't be at all surprised when I tell you that Black Sun takes us back from the 1945 settings of the previous three films in the series to the thirties, given that the subtitle of the film is The Nanking Massacre. The Nanking (/Nanjing) Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was carried out by the Japanese in December of 1937, and to this day stands as one of history's most hideous war crimes; over the course of ten days, an estimated two to three hundred thousand Chinese nationals were treated, for all intents and purposes, like animals by the invading Japanese army (a variation of the "maruta" treatment given to experimental subjects in the Unit 731 camps, designed to dehumanize the oppressed). Mou, presenting the information in docudrama fashion much as he did in the original Man Behind the Sun, takes us through the Japanese reign of terror through the eyes of two Chinese nationals, the last surviving monk from one of the town's temples and an eight-year-old boy who fled with his younger sister when the Japanese invaded their home, and has since been living on the street, trying to avoid the occupiers.

Mou has a better grasp of the docudrama gig here than he did in 1988. Which is not to say there isn't a great deal of naked emotional manipulation to be had, nor that there are none of the gratuitous shock scenes that made Mou so infamous with Man Behind the Sun. But both have been toned down considerably in this film (there are four or five shots that squeamish audience members should be prepared for, but much of the atrocity is either offscreen or shot with a wide-angle lens from high above the city in order to give a sense of magnitude). But here he backs up his allegations with a great deal of written documentation, usually voice-overed while being shown on the screen, as well as footage from the infamous John Magee footage shot during the Massacre itself (there are a number of scenes where the film will freeze, and then the tableau will fade to black and white, so you can see how Mou has built the action to recreating a still from the Magee film). It's powerful stuff if you're trying to convey to your audience that yes, you're really showing things the way they happened, or as best you can given that very few people who were actually there were alive to tell the tale after the fact.

Interesting, this. I'm not sure I can call it "good", but it's undeniably powerful. ***
½ December 26, 2007
Chinese propaganda but still doesn't seem far off from what I read in Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking. Weird to hear everyone (Japanese, European) speaking Chinese. I can't wait for the documentary, Nanking.
½ August 12, 2007
This is a very disturbing, grotesque, and excellent film. It has some of the grossest scenes I've ever seen.
August 4, 2007
One of the most graphically violent films ever made, this film really goes all the way. Showing a real autopsy, a man crapping out his guts everywhere, and people being put into a high pressure tank until they explode, only real gorehounds will enjoy this film.
½ July 17, 2007
I mean the directer was a nut ball. If your looking for gore, watch something that is not as old as i am. Ya it has historical information, but it was done quiet poorly
June 26, 2007
not many people have ever seen this movie - and with the crazy shit that goes on in it - i could understand why. But, it is based off of true events and if you get nothing else from it - you should realize that stuff like this probably still happens today, we jsut don't hear about it. (Decompression scene was utterly gruesome)
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2013
The Nanking Massacre was one of the biggest atrocities committed by the Japanese. This fourth film illustrates the harrowing nightmare of the crimes during the massacre. Like the first film, this is accurate in showing what it was like, and it has the take no prisoners feel that made the first film so disturbing. This is a piece of history in the sense that it happened, and it is somewhat of a necessary viewing in order for humanity to prevent these types of atrocities to happen again. The series is truly disturbing, but does work well as a teaching aid, in order for us to understand how history is essential in preventing us from this sort of thing again. This is a hard film to watch and it is graphic in its content, but it's how it was. This was what the Japanese did in Nanking, and it is a disturbing, but necessary portrait of the tragic events that happened. As a whole, it's a decent film, but like the original, is only worth seeing once, if you can handle due to its content. There are aspect that could have been improved upon, but the director did a fairly decent job at capturing the chaos of the atrocities on film. Despite this, this doesn't warrant multiple viewings and it should be seen if only you're interested in the history of the ordeal. Watch it with the understanding that this is a film that will most likely offend, and in that respect, you won't forget it, because after all, this is a film based on real events, and the Nanking Massacre was one of the many tragic mass murders that occurred during the Second World War.
December 24, 2012
War drama which is fast paced and full of symbolism. The gore is made well and not too overdone. It has gore in it but I wouldn't classify it as gore. More regular movies should have casual gore in them.
November 1, 2012
Very disturbing and graphic , PG 25
October 18, 2012
A 90 minute journey into what is allegedly one of the greatest atrocities in human history. The Rape of Nanking is still a hugely contentious subject and I can only hope that this brutal and gruesome vision is exaggerated. A couple of sequences in the movie are breathtaking but mainly this is just quite difficult viewing.
June 4, 2012
no info = no interest
½ May 12, 2012
Not a bad film. But not particularly great, either. I went into it knowing it's notoriety as an exploitation film, so I was not particularly shocked by most of the outrageous parts (excluding the particular scene consisting of an unborn baby and a bayonet). The film attempts a first person look at the horrors of Nanking Massacre from the side of the Chinese. Although it is not the typical movie when one thinks of war films, it is very moving. I would say, see it.
½ May 12, 2012
(*** 1/2): Thumbs Up

The film was dark and violent but it kept me interested throughout. A tough film to watch but it was a powerful experience.
August 29, 2010
Gruesome Really of History/War (Japan & China) & Inhuman behavior Against POW's!
May 12, 2012
This Movie shows the Incidents from the Nanking Massacre in the Japanese-Chinese War in which the Japanese kill 300.000 Chinese in 3 Days amongst others they lie 80.000 Chinese on the Beach shot them and burn them in the Movie they burn 80.000 Some Things and the Actors who play the Japanese Soldiers stand in that giant black cloud of smoke they also burn a Baby in a Hot Soup Pot cut a Fetus from the Mothers Belly with the Bayonet kill the Members of a whole Buddhist Cermony and lot of other grousy Things in this Movie we see also the German who saved some Chinese who was later given a own Movie
½ July 4, 2009
Brutal, brutal stuff. The beginning caught me off guard, as I was expecting the cheesiness from Laboratory of the Devil and A Narrow Escape (The second and third films in the series). No such luck; it's bleak drama in its unadulterated form, returning to the morbid realism from the first Men Behind the Sun. It's part of the Men Behind the Sun series, I guess, because in Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre, the Japanese are portrayed as racial-supremacist villains, and the black, morbid mood doesn't let up for the entire film. The events are different; no Unit 731, but it probably links both the unethical experimentations with the Rape of Nanking, as both document the Japanese treating the non-Japanese as subhuman. The few characters we sympathize with are disposed of like objects. All Chinese civilians are targets to whatever heinous acts the Japanese military can come up with. They remorselessly kill and it's literally a free for all with the Japanese wielding weapons, and the Chinese defenselessly recoiling in terror. I'd known and read about the Massacre before, but was not aware of its historical controversy in terms of dispute; apparently, some deny the statistics. Reading over sourced articles online, the numbers appear the same, and it's pretty accurate to what Black Sun shared visually and in text. Black Sun is intent on providing documented evidence with documentary footage, and photos of certain incidents during the Massacre. Disturbing!
August 22, 2011
Brutal stuff. If you've seen the other "Men Behind the Sun" films (Laboratory of the Devil and A Narrow Escape--The 2nd and 3rd films in the loosely connected series), you might expect some of the same cheesiness. No such luck; since it's directed by Mou Tun-fei, the same director from the first "Men Behind the Sun" about UNIT 371, this film is bleak drama in its unadulterated form, returning to the morbid realism. In the Nanking Massacre, the Japanese are portrayed as racial-supremacist villains, and the black, morbid mood doesn't let up for the entire film. It follows a disconnected chain of events and characters associated with the Rape of Nanking. The few characters we sympathize with are disposed of like objects. All Chinese civilians are targets to whatever heinous acts the Japanese military can come up with. They remorselessly kill and it's literally a free for all with the Japanese wielding weapons, and the Chinese defenselessly recoiling in terror. I'd heard about the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war but had no idea just how brutal it was. This film also provides evidence with documentary footage and photos of certain incidents during the Massacre. Disturbing!
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