Documentary details brutality of 1937 Japanese invasion

World Today

In this Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 photo, people sign on a piece of red cloth with characters calling for “remember the history and cherish the peace” ahead of the National Public Memorial Day of Nanjing Massacre near the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall in Nanjing in east China’s Jiangsu province. A Chinese nongovernmental organization has sent a letter to Japan’s prime minister calling on his government to apologize to the victims of a wartime massacre almost 80 years ago and pay compensation. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

A new five-episode documentary revealing the brutality of the 1937 Japanese military invasion in the Chinese city of Nanjing has been released. 

“1937 Memory of Nanjing” lasts over four hours. It reveals in chilling detail the crimes against humanity committed by Japanese troops during their invasion from the point of view of the survivors.

“We shot it from the perspective of ‘now’. We followed the main characters for the past decades from their perspectives, from their eyes to see how the Nanjing Massacre has affected their lives,” Producer and Chief Director of “1937 Memory of Nanjing” said.

“It’s an international documentary. By “international” I mean the way it examines the topic, the use of witness testimony, history archives, and field investigations,” Vice President of China Documentary Film Communion Zhao Jie said.

The documentary was co-produced by China Central Television and the government of Jiangsu Province, where the Nanjing Massacre took place 77 years ago. Its five episodes cover nearly all of the evidence ever collected on the massacre, including the story of Zhang Chunru, the first writer to shine a light on the Nanjing Massacre for the western world, and the diary of Cheng Ruifang, known as “the Chinese Anne Frank.”

Despite the historical evidence, the Japanese government has never offered an apology to victims. The five-episode documentary serves not just as a reminder of events, but also as a lesson on human brutality and struggle.

Meanwhile,  in China, survivors of the Nanjing Massacre urged Japan to acknowledge its violent past. They made the plea in a letter to the United Nations. CCTV News’ Lin Nan reported this story from Nanjing Jiangsu province in China.

Survivors of Nanjing massacre send open letter to UN

Countries around the world are making Human Rights Day. In China, in remembrance of the day, survivors of the Nanjing Massacre urged Japan to acknowledge its violent past. They made the plea in a letter to the United Nations. CCTV News’ Lin Nan reported this story from Nanjing Jiangsu province in China.