Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nanking & My Discontents

Last night I went to the DVD store and rented Nanking. It was a good documentary that consisted of actors reading the letters of expats who lived in Nanking at the time of the Japanese attack, interviews with survivors of the invasion as well as the Japanese soldiers. Watching the documentary was a bit sad and it showed how people can become so dehumanized and savage, though this is nothing new.

What I found suprising is that one of the folks who was defending the Chinese refugees was a Nazi, later on he got in to trouble with his government because he complained about the atrocities that he witnessed and tried to prevent. One thing that I did not like about the film is that I am sure that it was not American & European missionaries who were trying to prevent the massacres & rapes that occured but the film does not mention a great deal about efforts that Chinese officials made to protect their people. A long with this I am sure that most of the Chinese who tried to protect the refugees and civilians from rape and murder were killed themselves, though I am not completely sure about that. So again the viewer was treated to the spectacle of white folks saving the cowering natives from the barbarian hordes.

Despite my criticism I think that the stories were worth telling and I respect the efforts that the humanitarian and caring people made to prevent the suffering.

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