Nanking Reviews

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
April 28, 2011
This painful documentary ends on a hopeful note, although with a clear view of the cloud over human nature.
June 12, 2010
A noble effort, but a flawed delivery. The film would benefit from more time spent with the real survivors, and less with actors tasked with "playing" the Western saviors.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
July 23, 2009
Living through a screening of ... the 1937/8 Japanese invasion, devastation and occupation of Nanking creates a fervent wish to have nothing o do with our membership cards in the homo sapiens species.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
April 13, 2008
The lesson here is not simply to vilify the Japanese soldiers of that era, but to make sure that we never forget who we are and what our country stands for today.
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
March 14, 2008
A deft and dramatic melding of talking-head documentary, historic photos and film footage and readings by a cast of actors, the film is a devastating depiction of man's inhumanity to man. It is also about how some of us are brave enough to say 'No.'
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Tricia Olszewski
Let's Not Listen
February 28, 2008
Nanking bombards you with words and images of acts too barbaric to fully absorb.
Beth Accomando
February 3, 2008
Nanking is a sometimes clumsy and sometimes artistically flawed documentary but in the end it presents a powerful account of what happened in Nanking at the end of 1937 and beginning of 1938.
Top Critic
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
February 1, 2008
Sheds light on particular wartime atrocities largely neglected in the collective memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 1, 2008
A brutal introduction to events that should be better known.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
February 1, 2008
Nanking doesn't tell us why decency and compassion completely break down from time to time. It just tells us something terribly modern and all too familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
January 31, 2008
A handsome documentary on a brutal subject, Nanking delves into the 1937 Japanese invasion of China and the atrocities committed in the attack...
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 31, 2008
Nanking is grim but ultimately uplifting, a reminder that even in dangerous times, brave individuals can hold the line against barbarism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
David N. Butterworth
January 24, 2008
A harrowing look at how war takes its terrible toll on the innocent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
January 17, 2008
Anyone who sees Nanking should know going in what a brutal story it is, but no one should miss it because of a restrictive rating.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Cynthia Fuchs
January 17, 2008
Even as history changes to accommodate current needs and frameworks, it's crucial to remember those who lived it.
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
January 11, 2008
Highlights both the best and the worst that humanity has to offer.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 11, 2008
Nanking does justice to this tragedy even though it makes the mistake of mixing the testimony of actual participants with staged readings from actors subbing for real people.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
January 11, 2008
The filmmakers employ a powerful technique of interspersing newsreel footage with wrenching on-camera interviews of survivors and sequences of actors reciting from the letters and memoirs of the Westerners on the scene.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
January 10, 2008
I have rarely, if ever, seen a documentary reconstruction of a historical event that is so rich in firsthand (and well-preserved) photographic material.
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
January 10, 2008
... altogether gripping film.
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