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Nanking Reviews

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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 Source: DCist | Original Score: 5/10

June 12, 2010
Geoff Berkshire

Although the story of Nanking deserves to be told, there's reason to hope this awkwardly executed doc won't be the definitive portrait.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/5

December 12, 2007
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

This painful documentary ends on a hopeful note, although with a clear view of the cloud over human nature.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

April 28, 2011
Don Willmott

an important historical record

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

December 11, 2007
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A brutal introduction to events that should be better known.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

February 1, 2008
Tricia Olszewski
Let's Not Listen

Nanking bombards you with words and images of acts too barbaric to fully absorb.

Full Review Source: Let's Not Listen

February 28, 2008
Beth Accomando

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.

February 3, 2008
Cole Smithey

Documentarians Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman brilliantly combine archive footage from Japan's 1937 massive attack on China's former capital of Nanking with heartbreaking interviews of Chinese survivors, guilty Japanese soldiers, and actors giving stage r

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A

December 9, 2007
Kim Voynar

War and violence are never pretty, and this is not an easy film to watch -- there is brutal and gruesome footage of the death and destruction that happened there.

Full Review Source: Cinematical | Original Score: 3.5/5

February 3, 2007
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The documentary is an effective and moving account of civilization gone amok.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B+

December 6, 2007
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An engrossing documentary on the atrocities committed in Nanking by Japanese soldiers and the courageous heroism of some expats in 1937.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 3/5

December 13, 2007
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

It is a harsh story and the filmmakers do not try to sugarcoat or diminish its power and tragedy.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B+

December 31, 2007
David N. Butterworth

A harrowing look at how war takes its terrible toll on the innocent.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3/4

January 24, 2008
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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 Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: B-

January 31, 2008
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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[A] powerful documentary.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 12, 2007
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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Nanking is a swift, incisive documentary about one of the lesser-known horrors of the 20th century.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

December 12, 2007
Gene Seymour
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Nanking submits yet another reminder, if any more were needed, of how wickedness in the 20th century achieved dimensions previously considered unimaginable -- or unbearable.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 13, 2007
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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I have rarely, if ever, seen a documentary reconstruction of a historical event that is so rich in firsthand (and well-preserved) photographic material.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

January 10, 2008
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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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 Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 4/4

January 17, 2008
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

September 7, 2011
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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July 16, 2008
Bob Mondello
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October 18, 2008
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
October 18, 2008
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009

Village Voice
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February 20, 2008

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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October 18, 2008
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