New Release: City of Life and Death DVD and Blu-ray

Release Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Price: 2-disc DVD $29.95, 2-disc Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Kino

 The City of Life and Death movie scene

The horrors of the Rape of Nanking are chronicled in The City of Life and Death.

The Chinese epic film The City of Life and Death, a depiction of the Rape of Nanking, is based on the recorded witness testimony from the real-life survivors of the  infamous reign of terror conducted by the occupying Japanese army in the Chinese capital of Nanking in 1937.

Directed by Lu Chuan (Mountain Patrol), the strikingly photographed black-and-white film is the first big-budget fiction movie by the Chinese to deal with the event.

The City of Life and Death is filled with an ensemble of conflicted characters caught in the crossfire, including Chinese officer Lu (Liu Ye), who leads his men in a hopeless, defiant resistance effort; the German businessman, John Rabe (John Paisley), who establishes a safety zone in an attempt to protect civilians; and Japanese soldier Kadokawa (Hideo Nakaizumi), who struggles to live with his conscience in a city where executions are commonplace.

Universally praised by critics, the 2009 movie played theaters and film festivals around the world before its limited theatrical release in the U.S. in May 2011.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD include a feature-length documentary about the making of the film that includes interviews with the director and actors, plus behind-the scenes footage.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.