"Nanjing 1937" to play in Sapporo

Peter Durfee durfee
Mon Jul 19 02:49:08 EDT 1999

The following article, posted this morning (7/19), appeared here:

My rough-and-ready translation--some information added--follows the Japanese.

1999?7?19???? 8?3?






?????? 1999?7?19??

"Nanjing, 1937" to be shown in Sapporo in September
Screening committee to form on July 23

"Nanjing, 1937" (1995, dir. Wu Xiniu; IMDB entry:
http://imdb.com/Title?0113930), a joint Hong Kong-China production dealing
with the Nanjing massacre, has been scheduled for screening at Kaderu 2?7 in
Chuo-ku, Sapporo, on September 19. A group including members of civic
organizations, lawyers, and students is now working on preparations for the
showing, the first in Sapporo, and a screening committee will be formed on
July 23.

The film depicts a Chinese doctor, his Japanese wife, and their family, and
their flight during the war from Shanghai to Nanjing.* It presents the
brutality and madness of war itself, as well as the love people felt for
each other despite their different nationalities. The film has been shown in
Asahikawa and Kushiro and in other locations across Japan, and has been
dogged by incidents involving people opposed to its screening, notably a
June 1998 incident in Yokohama when a rightist was arrested after slashing
the screen at a theater showing the movie.

In the light of the passing of legislation related to new guidelines for
U.S.-Japan defense cooperation and the issue of designating "Kimigayo" and
the Hinomaru as the national anthem and flag, the organizers of the Sapporo
screening have stated that "now more than ever citizens need to reevaluate
the war and clearly express their dedication to pacifism. We would like to
spark public consideration of these issues with this movie." Organizers are
now looking for committee members and other volunteers.

September 19 was selected as the date for the screening because of its
proximity to the anniversary of the supposed Chinese attempt to sabotage the
railway at Liutiaohu [Liutiaogou] on September 18, 1931. This attack,
orchestrated in fact by Japanese military forces, served as the pretext for
the "Manchurian Incident" and Japan's seizure of Manchuria. The film will be
screened twice, at 2:00 P.M. amd 6:00 P.M. Advance tickets are available for
1,000 yen (1,200 yen on the day of the showing); student tickets (university
and lower) are half-price. For more information contact the Sapporo branch
of the Japan-China Friendship Association: 011-814-8658.

_Hokkaido Shimbun_, July 19, 1999

* Not having seen the film, this is my take on the plot from the limited
information in this article, and it might be a mistranslation. Please
correct this if it needs it!

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