Set construction for the Chinese-American mega production 'Rape of Nanking'
List of Nanking Massacre Victim Names
PLA Soldiers present wreaths of flowers in memory of the massacre victims at a ceremony in front of the Nanking Massacre Memorial Hall.
Today marks the 69th anniversary of the 'Rape of Nanking'. This refers to the Dec 1937 to Jan 1938 massacre of chinese civilians and soldiers in the former capital of China, Nanjing. About 300,000 Chinese and around 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were raped by invading Japanese forces. This massacre continues to remain a thorny issue between China and Japan, with the Chinese emphasizing it whenever the issue of Japanese invasion of China comes along and the Japanese seeking to downplay or some right-wing Japanese elements even seeking to deny it.
Below are some websites and articles related to the massacre. There are currently plans on a documentary and films commemorating the 'Rape' in time for the 70th Anniversary next year in 2007.
http://firstname.lastname@example.org (Nanking Massacre 69th anniversary)
http://nanking-bearing-witness.blogspot.com/ (nanking massacre blog) http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200612/14/eng20061214_332363.html (69th Nanking Massacre Anniversary)
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200612/13/eng20061213_332172.html (Nanking Massacre) http://www.nj1937.org/english/
http://www.nj1937.org/ (Official Nanking Massacre Memorial Hall website in English and Chinese)
http://www.nankingthefilm.com/ (AOL Vice-President-funded Documentary accepted for Sundance Film festival screening in Jan 2007)
Pic projects revisit Nanking massacre
Produce Green's $50 mil pic based on Chang's tome
By CLIFFORD COONAN
NANJING -- The 1937 invasion by Japanese troops of the city that was then China's capital was dubbed "The Rape of Nanking," with memories of that massacre still causing anguish to many Chinese. Now a slew of films will revisit the trauma.
The most high-profile is a $50 million-$60 million project being put together by producer Gerald Green's Viridian Entertainment and by the Jiangsu provincial government.
Based on Iris Chang's bestselling book "The Rape of Nanking," the pic is being penned by William Macdonald, creator of the epic HBO skein "Rome."
"Rape of Nanking" will look at the experiences of a Chinese family during the massacre. Green says preproduction is due to start in November, shooting in March and the planned release date is December 2007, the 70th anniversary of the invasion.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong director Stanley Tong, best known for his work on action movies with Jackie Chan, is working on "The Diary," which would also be released by the Dec. 13 anniversary of the invasion. Tong says the $40 million project, by his China Intl. Media Group, has received approval from Chinese film authorities and adds that coin would come from Germany, the U.S., Japan and China.
A documentary is also in the works. AOL vice prexy Ted Leonsis is reportedly taking more of a backseat role at his company to concentrate on "Nanking." The docu has already sold Chinese TV rights, and although he has yet to find a distributor in the U.S., Leonsis is getting it ready for Sundance.
Two other projects are in early planning stages. Transworld Pictures in London has been working on a project for three years, and executive producer Chris Stewart says it would be filmed in China with post-production in London, using a British writer.
Another project based on the novel "Nanking" by Kevin Kent is being developed.
Local media is buzzing with rumors about who will star in Gerald Green's version. Though everyone from Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh to Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep are being mentioned, Green insists that casting (either in China or the United States) has not started yet.
Tong told local media he has been gearing up for his project for five years and he wants Chow Yun-Fat, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau and Norika Fujiwara to star.
The massacre remains a major obstacle to healthy relations with Japan. China says 300,000 Chinese people were slaughtered by invading Japanese soldiers in Nanjing; the 1948 Tokyo war crimes tribunal found Japanese troops killed 155,000 people. Beijing believes Japan has not done enough to atone for the invasion, while the Japanese are increasingly tired of being harangued over their wartime past.
With political relations between China and Japan still tense, the Chinese government is not averse to exploiting the propaganda value of the incident. One of the top films in China this year is "Tokyo Trials," about the post-war tribunals investigating Japanese war crimes.
Monkey Peaches Exclusive 14 Dec 2006:
Yesterday is the 69th anniversary of the fall of Nanking/Nanjing, then capital of China and the beginning of a weeks long massacre carried out by the Japanese force, which took the life of hundreds thousands of civilians and prisons of war. A ceremony was hold outside the city to mark the beginning of the set construction for The Rape of Nanking, based on the same title book by late author Iris Chang..The near US$40 million project is jointly produced by China's Jiangsu Cultural Industry Group and US-based Viridian Entertainment, with partial funding from the UK. The film will focus on how a group of foreign nationals helped protecting thousands of civilians during the massacre. The script is written by William J. MacDonald (Rome the TV series), who also serves as one of the project?s producers. The project is helmed by Simon West (Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, When a Stranger Calls). The cast list has not been finalized but the producers have hope Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi to sign on. The set, which will occupy an area equal to about 7 and a half football fields, will include replicated buildings of the Nanjing City from the 1930s, including a city gate, a harbor, an embassy district, a women's school, residential houses and several major intersections. Shooting will start in spring next year and wrap by July. The release is aimed at December 2007.
Chinese director Lu Chuan (Kekexili: The Mountain Patrol, The Missing Gun), works as a consultant of The Rape of Nanking, is also planning his own Nanjing Massacre project, titled Nanjing! Nanjing!, which is also in serious pre-production. It is budgeted to cost about US$26 millions, which will be shared by China Film Group Corp., Beijing-based Stellar MegaMedia and Hong Kong-based Emperor Motion Pictures. The story will follow a Chinese soldier and a Japanese soldier?s stories during the massacre. A set, occupying an area equal to almost 28 football fields, will be constructed in Sichuan Province, near 800 miles west of Nanjing. Shooting is scheduled to begin next Spring and the release is also planned for December.
The third project, titled The Diary, is pushed by Hong Kong director Stanley Tong (The Myth, First Strike, Rumble in Bronx.). The story will begin in 1937, when Japan launched the full scale invasion against China and will end by 1946, the year dozens of Japanese war criminals were trialed in Tokyo. The investment, almost US$40 millions, will come from China, the US, Germany and Japan. Shooting is set to start by next March.