I watched the movie “John Rabe” (2009) last night, and it’s one of those movies which linger in your mind afterwards. One reviewer at Netflix called it “startling” and I think that is a good word to describe it.
It’s a true story. Yet it’s hard to wrap your head around a sympathetic Nazi character at all, much less one who, during the Rape of Nanking in December, 1937, risks his life to shelter 200,000 Chinese from the brutal attack and aggression of the Japanese military.
It’s hard to describe beyond that. I imagine the brutality of the Japanese army at Nanking did not get this movie wide screenings here in Japan. And scenes like frightened Chinese huddling under a mammoth swastika flag to protect themselves from Japanese air attacks are disturbing to say the least.
The movie is extremely well-acted, very moving, but also extremely graphic and disturbing. I do recommend watching it, and then reading up more on the life of John Rabe.