Nanking

Watched Nanking today. Wasn’t very easy to watch and i quite openly wept a couple of times. The archival footage and the interviews of survivors who have gone through the horrific event were shocking and painful. I know about the Nanking Massacre from history textbooks. I read with a small degree of bewilderment as to why the Chinese are still harping on the event after more than 70 years. I am always a little puzzled as to the huge backlash Junichiro Koizumi invited whenever he visited the Yasukuni Shrine.

If you are like me, Nanking is a must-watch. The pictures, the video footage, the first-hand accounts from survivors- all these were bone-chilling scary. You have to watch it to realise how cruel and inhumane the Japanese soldiers were. Their acts were disgustingly barbaric. Coupled with the Japanese Government’s repeated attempts (textbooks and otherwise) to downplay the actual extent of damage, and you will totally understand why the Chinese are so upset about Yasukuni Shrine. As a Chinese and a woman, it is very hard not to feel furious. The film serves as a good reminder of the horrors of war, and how people can be mere savages. That said, the film is not perfect. I didn’t like the actor-narrators. They were rather fake. Maybe they were trying to appear objective, but they come across rehearsed, inappropriately cold and mildly psychotic.

Japan (the government and the masses, not just some Japanese) must face up to its past and the world must agree on a common version of the Nanking Massacre. Japan’s stubborness only serves to convince me that their military spirit is very much intact. I mean, if you refuse to admit you killed so many, and think that murderers are your war heroes, something has gotta be really wrong.

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