This years post will focus on film projects that are coming out this and next year which have a WW2 theme.
Also, as a note, res 121 on the comfort women issue was passed by the full house of Congress in late July which demands an official and unambiguous apology from the Japanese parliament on the issue of wartime rape by the Imperial Army during WW2.
This Sundance nominated documentary by 'Twin Towers' Oscar winners Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman as well as funded by American AOL vice-chairman Ted Leonsis deals with the group of over a dozen foreigners whom chose to remain in Nanking despite evacuation advice from their embassies. They did as much as they could to protect the chinese civilians and refugees from Japanese barbarity during the Massacre. It weaves archival footage, interviews with Chinese survivors, as well as testimonies of Japanese soldiers with stage readings of the actual diary entries kept by some of the foreigners during the worst days of the Nanking Massacre. Besides Sundance, it has been shown at the Hong Kong Film Festival as well as The Shanghai Int' Film Festival and has been released in China from July 7th onwards. I'm looking forward to seeing it! I think it will have a major impact on worldwide audiences and really help to push the knowledge of the Nanking Massacre (and Japanese WW2 atrocities generally) to a wider audience with the prominence of its directors as well as producer Ted Leonsis. I'm glad an American cared and was moved so much to spend money and make this doco!Way to go Ted:)
Official Site: http://www.nankingthefilm.com/
A US-British-China co-production on the Rape of Nanking. It is supposed to cost around US$50 million dollars and is planned for release next year in 2008. The director is Simon West (of LaraCroft fame) and the story revolves around a Chinese mother and her daughter during the Nanking Massacre in 1937 as well as the group of foreigners whom stayed behind to set up and attempt to save the Chinese residents of Nanking during the Japanese invasion and subsequent bloody and horrific occupation of the city. The movie shooting has been delayed and delayed and further the scriptwriter was changed and the American production company also changed due to insufficient funding from the original American one. I hope it does get through.
Nanking Christmas 1937 (US-HK/2008):
This film by HK Director Yim Ho will be an international movie with a focus on the group of foreigners including Germans, Americans, and British residents of Nanking whom stayed behind to assist and defend the Chinese against the brutal Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre of 1937-38. It is reported that the director is still scouting for appropriate casts and the script and budget has been approved already. It is set for shooting later in the year.
This film by renowned award-winning Chinese director Lu Chuan of Kekexili fame has already begun shooting in northeastern China and is set for release next yr in 08. The film revolves around a Chinese soldier and his love as well as a Japanese soldier set during the Nanking Massacre in 1937. The script for the movie underwent major problems with Chinese censors (all the films dealing with the Nanking Massacre undergo rigorous approval processes as they are classified 'sensitive topics' and have to be approved by not only the govt. department dealing with films but also the Foreign Ministry as well as other relevant departments.) The cast is not known yet.
The Diary (US-Germany-Japan-China/Not Known Yet):
Major production by Stanley Tong (most famous for his huge action flicks with Jackie Chan such as Police Story series, The Myth,etc) which is apparently going to be the first major film dealing with the entire Sino-Japanese War, and not just the Nanking Massacre, starting from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937 all the way to August 1945 when Japan officially surrenders. It reportedly is going to go even further and end with the Tokyo Trials in 1947. The script and finance for the film have both been approved and the director is currently finalising casting as well as location confirmation.
The Children of Huangshi (US-Germany-Australia/2007):
This foreign production is based loosely on the true story of a British man who leads 60 Chinese orphans across rough terrains to the edge of the Gobi desert to escape the oncoming onslaught of Japanese troops in China during WW2. It is currently in post-production and was shot in both China and Melbourne, Australia. It stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Radha Mitchell, Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. It is slated for an opening in December in the US and early March next year for China.
Lust, Caution (US-Taiwan/2007):
After Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain comes a Chinese spy romance set in wartime Occupied Shanghai by Ang Lee. It is based on Eileen Chang's short novel which was inspired by true events that occurred. It tells the story of a Chinese girl used by the resistance in China to seduce and assassinate a pro-Japanese colloborator working for the puppet Japanese government in Shanghai during the Japanese Occupation in 1942. In the process, however, she finds that she has already fallen for him. It stars Tony Leung, Tang Wei, Joan Chen as well as Wang LeeHom. It is to be released in September. There was some controversy regarding which country it was produced in during the Venice Film Festival of which it is competing. Ang Lee has always been very proud of his Taiwanese (as well as Chinese) heritage and is known to have refused to naturalise and become an American citizen despite advice from close friends that it could pose as an obstacle to his career in America especially after winning the Oscars for both his latest films. So, whenever his Taiwanese production company is involved in a film he will always insist that the festivals and Academy Awards list 'Taiwan' as the country of origin but this year the Venice Film Fest., due to political reasons, i'm sure, decided to change 'US-Taiwan' on the application form to 'US-China' on their website. After Ang Lee's assistant complained, it was changed back to 'Taiwan.' I am proud of Ang Lee's success.
Anyways, i'm looking forward to seeing his film......