Nanking (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes


Nanking (2007)



Critic Consensus: This powerful and horrific documentary brings the atrocities committed at Nanking to light without sugarcoating any of the brutality.

Nanking Photos

Movie Info

Filmmaker Bill Guttentag takes a closer look at the atrocities committed by the Japanese after Nanking fell to the Imperial Japanese Army in 1937 with this documentary that was inspired by Iris Chang's novel The Rape of Nanking. Compiled from over 700 hours of footage including news-reel footage, interviews with survivors and soldiers, and staged readings, Nanking was financed in large by millionaire Ted Leonsis, who had read Chang's obituary and subsequently been prompted to read the author's best-selling account of the massacre.

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Hugo Armstrong
as Rev. John Magee
Rosalind Chao
as Chang Yu Zheng
Mariel Hemingway
as Minnie Vautrin
Michelle Krusiec
as Yang Shu Ling
Woody Harrelson
as Bob Wilson
Chris Mulkey
as Mills MacCallum
Stephen Dorff
as Lewis Smythe
John Getz
as George Fitch
Sonny Saito
as Sakai Hiroshi
Robert Wu
as Chinese Soldier
Mark Valley
as Stage Manager
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News & Interviews for Nanking

Critic Reviews for Nanking

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (18)

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.

April 13, 2008 | Full Review…

Sheds light on particular wartime atrocities largely neglected in the collective memory.

February 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

February 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

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.

January 17, 2008 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

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.

January 11, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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.

January 11, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Nanking

The presentation here is at first questionable. It begins with a look behind the wizard's curtain and we are shown a bit about how what we are about to see was constructed, recreated. But then the actual documentary, like a roller coaster at the apex of the highest point, truly begins, and the mere facts of this story alone are enough to terrify. The pictures serve to put you in the place, allows one to see with one's own eyes, even though you become increasingly aware that the producers have wisely chosen not to show all of what was committed in China then. Not for the faint of heart this. Two eyewitness accounts will burn into your memory forever.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Straightforward and to the point, this documentary on the seldom heard Nanking atrocities is as intelligent as it is well made.

Dillon Lupky
Dillon Lupky

Super Reviewer


Talking-head format robs actions both harrowing and heroic of their full impact.

William Goss
William Goss

Super Reviewer

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