Donor funds screening for Nanjing documentary

Updated: 2007-07-24 08:48

An anonymous person has donated 10,000 yuan (US$1,320) to allow 1,000 people to watch the United States documentary "Nanking" that chronicles Japan's notorious 1937 invasion of Nanjing and the massacre of its residents.

Two major cinemas in Nanjing discounted ticket prices from 25 yuan each to 10 yuan, so that more people could see the film. All 1,000 tickets were handed out in just one and a half hours.

Old people, middle-age parents with their children and young people who wanted to know the city's history went to watch the film.

"As residents in Nanjing, we shall never forget the history," a woman surnamed Li told her nine-year-old son at the gate of Heping Theater.

"Nanking" (the old name for Nanjing) features interviews with Chinese survivors and Japanese soldiers, along with pictures, letters, and diaries read by actors portraying westerners who helped save more than 200,000 Chinese refugees in Nanjing in 1937.

Heping Theater in Nanjing has taken 100,000 yuan over the past 10 days, a record high for a documentary shown in the theater.

"Nanking" was first shown only on one theater screen before being shown at major cinemas. Some scheduled 10 shows a day.

Many enterprises have made block bookings for the film until August.

The Nanjing Massacre occurred in December 1937 when Japanese troops occupied the then capital of China. More than 300,000 Chinese were believed murdered and thousands of women raped.

"I felt that the massacre had largely been ignored by history. I hope we can tell people the truth," said Bill Guttentag, who shot the film with partner Dan Sturman, earlier this month in Shanghai.

The idea came from Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of America Online, who came across an obituary of a young writer named Iris Chang who wrote the best-selling book "The Rape of Nanking."

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