memorial to the rape of nanjing 1937
It feels like I have seen the most serious film of my life. That's saying a lot. I mean it a lot. It was a Chinese film, THE CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH, directed by Chuan Lu, 2009. It was made in black and white, made to look like documentary footage from 1937. It was a "drama" while at the same time mayhem. It is the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanjing (Nanking) that gave the word ruthless new meaning. It is called the Forgotton Holocaust. It makes me think of the Germans doing the same thing in Europe at the same time. Jews get all the holocaust credit with 6 million. There were also 6 million gypsies, and 6 million Russians. Where is the gypsy holocaust museum? Maybe gypsies don't have the money, or the history. This incident at Nanjing, called the Rape of Nanjing, was a holocaust we don't hear about. Asians. Coloreds. Chinks. Who cares? The people involved cared. They cared plenty. It was the same government in Japan that allied with the Nazis and later committed the Pearl Harbor mistake. The present day Chinese government still has issues with Japan over that time.
The film followed a few people who survived, visually telling their stories, picturing their accounts of what they witnessed. All the witness stories woven together made the entire context of the film. I've read a Chinese novel, Red Sorghum, by Mo Yan. It is a story of that time of immeasurable atrocities. I think I'm coming to understand why WW2 soldiers who fought in the Pacific continue to hate the Japs to this day and will unto the day they die. The rise of the Japanese auto industry was a sharp stick in the eye to the American WW2 vet. Like Jews will be a long time getting over Germans. They're still not over the Egyptians, so I'll conjecture they'll never be over the Germans. I doubt the Chinese will be getting over the rape of Nanjing any time soon. It was unconscionable. It was such a thing the entire Japanese nation, even people today who knew nothing of it, would do well to turn everyone to public repentance for such acts. I feel repentance for what my country did to the Indians, and to the black people, but what good is that? What's done is done. Japan met it's karmic debt with the firebombing of Tokyo and 2 major cities destroyed utterly. Something like the rape of Nanjing is surely a national karmic debt. Like nuking two Japanese cities is a karmic debt for USA.
In the near future when Iraq has recovered from American "liberation" there will be a genre of novels, films, documentaries, histories of American atrocities. We pass them off and deny them. Show them on the tv news, no big deal, they deserve it, they're colored, they're poor, can't understand their language. We're number one. So what if they take their clothes off and get dogs after them. So what. They're sand niggers. That's how the Japanese saw the Chinese as they were killing them and tormenting them. No big deal. Chinks. Poor. China was at its most vulnerable in its entire history. Colonists were milking China dry. The dynasty was over. China was up for grabs. Japan invaded and conquered the whole country. The Japanese were the Nazis of the East. In both cases, their aggression turned on them and they were ultimately defeated.
This film, The City of Life and Death, brought to mind WW2 documentaries shown on tv in the 50s on Victory At Sea for the Navy, and for the ground forces, You Are There and The Big Picture. The way this film was made, it had the seeming of 2 hours of You Are There: The Rape Of Nanking. It was exactly like that kind of documentary with film footage from the inside, except this film told individual stories as they happened. Horrific is the word for it. Makes me want to go to the Nanjing memorial and sit in prayer all day. In my growing up, influenced by television, movies, adults, I saw the Chinese as faceless masses, as they were always depicted. The Japanese were the buck-toothed pilots in goggles. The Chinese said Chop-chop, had a braid down their backs and ran with short steps. Half a million Chinese killed? Population control. Who will miss them? They all look alike. Cone heads.
This is the human condition. This is what human beings think of each other. What do we do when we get together? We fall out and start killing each other. Last man standing wins. The American solution to every problem: I kill you. In this time and place, the land is protected by the greatest arsenal the world has ever known, an arsenal that is the economy. The biggest and fiercest military machine on earth prowls the globe by satellite making pre-emptive strikes to keep resistance to American oil interests down. We assassinate democratically elected presidents in other countries and replace them with military dictatorships. It's hilarious in electioneering time to hear so much bullshit about democracy and all that goes with it. What Americans have done in Chile, all up and down Central America, the vulnerable countries in South America, keeping them under control, making them ask, Democracy? What's that, senor? Christians brag about loving peace. Buddhists brag about loving peace. Muslims brag about loving peace. Set them at one another and you'll see the most vicious of human possibilities of hate come to the surface. India. Hindus and Muslims. Love, love, love, peace, holy peace. I cut your head off.