City of Life and Death

2009

Drama / History / War

155
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 9,944

Synopsis


Downloaded times
May 11, 2020

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.21 GB
1280*720
Chinese 2.0
R
23.976 fps
133 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.49 GB
1920×1080
Chinese 2.0
R
23.976 fps
133 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ma-cortes 8 / 10 / 10

Gripping and intense film depicting terrible deeds during Japonese invasion in Nanjing

Big budget WWII epic , it happens when China is invaded by Japan at the onset of war and finds Japanese army surrounding city of Nanjing (1937). After that, at the city take place violations, mutilations, and massacres. Some prisoners are interred in a prison camp but later they are led to fire squad, scaffold and alive burying. Director deglamorizes war showing true horror and terrible events. It's a staggering evocation of the Chinese Holocausto in Nanjing , as the atrocities are depicted matter of factly as by-product of sheer Japanese evil. The opening twenty minutes graphic depiction the facing off is , on its own, magnificent. The film-maker Chuan Lu is nicknamed the Chinese Steven Spielberg for his spectacular and impressive productions. As the moving beginning results to be as stirring as ¨Saving private Ryan¨ , the developing of the movie regarding invasion China is partially similar to ¨Empire of the sun¨ and suffering of Chinese people bear remarkable resemblance to Jews of ¨Schlindler list¨ .The starring, Nakaizumi, and the rest of the cast are excellent , as the movie is powered by splendid performances in charge of Chinese and Japanese actors who during filming suffered some inevitable discussions. Filmed in perfect black and white by cameraman Cao Yu , reflecting appropriately the grim and rotten environment .Lu Chuan makes a breathtaking work which directs spectacularly with groundbreaking scenes in a heartbreaking context.Chuan dedicated about three years joining information and interviewing experts for that scenes would adequate to reality of events. This masterpiece finally garnered the world attention and respect that the story deserves, winning several prizes in various International Festivals.

Reviewed by simon-bensasson 10 / 10 / 10

Warning: This film hurts

I finished watching this film two hours ago and the punch in the stomach I received watching it still hurts. I don't recall having received such a punch in my 60 or so years of film watching. Unlike films such as "Schindler's List" or "Empire of the Sun", this film does not take sides. It's like a candid camera operated by an invisible grand master hidden in the crowd or the rubble. It's just there recording events. As a result, despite the fact that it focuses on the big picture, the individual is not lost: Both the Chinese and the Japanese, each and every one of them, in huge crowds are real believable characters. This gives the viewer a grand and horrible sense of presence which is what makes it so painful. It would take courage to watch it again.

Reviewed by Simonster 10 / 10 / 10

Amazing piece of cinema, powerful. dramatic, moving

Viewed at the Festival de Cannes 2009 (Market screening) Since I am not Chinese, or of Chinese extraction, City of Life and Death has a different resonance for me. I know of the Nanking massacre (for which, it has to be said, the Japanese have yet to apologise or even properly acknowledge) from my own interest in history, as well as the John Rabe story (the Nazi who helped save thousands of Chinese civilians, until recalled to Germany since Hitler did not wish to upset his Japanese allies). Therefore, for me, City of Life and Death retells a fearful part of history, but not one with which I have any direct connection. So while this film may resonate a certain way for Chinese viewers, be they from the mainland, Hong Kong or overseas Chinese, I can tell you that I, as a European, have seldom seen a film so powerful, gripping, dramatic and moving. City of Life and Death is not nationalistic propaganda or a reversioning for the screen: no punches are pulled. The woman next to me was in tears. So be warned, this is not easy viewing. But by featuring on a few characters, allowing them to become fully three-dimensional human beings (not Chinese, not Asian, but human beings who live, love and feel) director Lu Chuan makes his audience feel and share their fear and terror as the Japanese invaders commit atrocity after atrocity on the fallen city's inhabitants. Never forget, this actually happened. If anything, Lu Chuan soft pedals on the horrors. They are depicted, but are not front and centre. This is not a horror film so gore hounds and ghouls should seek their thrills elsewhere. Rather, it is the arbitrariness with which the Japanese went about their murderous work that scares. Wrong place, wrong time: rape, torture, murder. This wasn't the efficient, methodical murder the Nazis introduced, but rather cold brutality, as a cat toys with a helpless mouse. Unthinking, unreasoning, just because. Filmed in black and white, City has so many images and scenes that remain fixed in you mind long after the final credits have rolled. Lu Chuan even selects the grain and grading according to the action. The use of colour would, in this case, have weakened the film. But if City of Life and Death were just two hours of suffering it would be unworthy of an audience. So Lu Chuan gives us the central characters of Mr. Tang (John Rabe's secretary), Miss Jiang (a schoolteacher) and Kadokawa (a sensitive Japanese soldier who witness but cannot delay the unspeakable). All of them are helplessly swept up in the maelstrom, which Lu Chuan leavens with scenes of (attempts at) normal life, normal human interaction and naked attempts at survival. These are people with whom one can identify and empathise. Yet, at heart, City of Life and Death is extremely uplifting. The message, at the end, is positive and optimistic. In writing this review, the film is coming back to me again. What I once read, black and white on a page, has been made real for me and, yes, I'm emotionally moved by it. If you believe in the power of film, want a break from popcorn entertainment, are looking for a film that can make you feel (as opposed to having your emotions manipulated) then please go see this one. It's rare when I think a film should be seen, deserves to be seen, but City of Life and Death belong in that very rare category.

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