John Rabe

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.

Academy Award “humor”

I didn’t watch the Oscars (in fact, I haven’t seen any of the nominated films yet) but I noticed this bit of reporting from nbcnews:

Later in the show, MacFarlane complimented Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance in “Lincoln,” and said that “the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.” The reference to Lincoln’s assassin didn’t go over well.

Because you enjoyed?

On Netflix you can click on “Suggestions” and it will recommend movies “because you enjoyed these other movies.”

Why is it suggesting a PBS documentary on the life of Mark Twain “because I enjoyed” All the President’s Men, The Twilight Zone (Original Series) and Masterpiece Mystery!: Foyle’s War.

Is there a connection I’m missing?