Friday, February 15, 2008

Black Sun - Nanking Massacre on DVD (1995)

I wrote this review for Lovefilm:
Director: Tun Fei Mou

I was under the misapprehension that this was a documentary when I placed it on the list - obviously I didn't read the blurb, but it had been recommended to me by a friend.
It's pretty intense. As gory as a horror film, and be prepared that this true story is about as bleak as it gets. Thousands of innocents were rounded up, killed, or tortured and then killed.
In the film you see some nasty things occuring, including people being raped, burned, stabbed, set on fire and shot. Dead bodies lie in great heaps. There are so many bodies the Japanese do not know what to do with them. There's one particularly nasty scene fit for any horror movie. I'll leave you to find it though, if you do decide to rent this DVD.
There's some doucmentary footage to show you that these events really happened, but then we cut to the colour reenactment. I believe the makers of this film struggled with giving the film a narrative, with so much horror going on it was hard to focus on a few people, and even harder to try to rescue some sort of positive outcome from the film. But there does appear to be an attempt to make the viewer sympathise with one particular family, with at least one member of the family making it to the end of the film alive (maybe).
I rated it 4 stars - its not perfect but tells a difficult slice of history in a reasonably interesting and entertaining way. It'll probably leave you wanting to know more though, but is that really a bad thing?

No comments: