Lisa Schwarzbaum
January 09, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Nanking

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
90 minutes
Limited Release Date
12/12/07
director
Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman
distributor
THINKFilm
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B-

With such stunning eyewitness accounts by weeping old Chinese men and women of the rapes and murders they witnessed just before World War II when invading Japanese soldiers brutalized Nanking in a horrifying rampage of exceptional violence, who needs staged readings of Western accounts from the likes of Woody Harrelson and Mariel Hemingway? Nanking, a carefully nonpunitive documentary of remembrance, is emotionally draining, as it should be, but it’s also overstructured, as it needn’t be; the actors are intrusive in a story that isn’t theirs. Besides, the archival photography says it all. B-

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