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International team to film Nanjing Massacre
Latest Updated by 2006-08-15 10:53:11
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China is teaming up with the United States and Britain to bring Iris Chang's international bestseller "The Rape of Nanking" to the silver screen.

The deal was announced yesterday, on the eve of the 61st anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

"We hope we can make the film a World War II classic just like 'Schindler's List,"' said American producer Gerald Green, referring to the Oscar-winning film about the European Holocaust by Steven Spielberg.

The partners plan to invest at least US$28 million to make a film that explores the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Chinese by Japanese troops invading Nanjing in 1937, according to Li Xiangmin, chairman of the Chinese investor, the Nanjing-based Jiangsu Cultural Industry Group.

The American investor, Green's Hollywood entertainment firm Viridian, will put US$20 million into the project. The Chinese partner will contribute 50 million yuan (US$6.25 million), and the British investor, who was not named, will put up US$2 million.

Li said the film has obtained production licenses in the United States and Britain and is awaiting approval by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. Shooting will likely begin at the end of this year.

The movie is scheduled to be completed before September 1, 2007 and make its debut in China before December 13, 2007, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. The film is expected to reach the world market in the spring of 2008.

The Nanjing Massacre occurred in December 1937 when Japanese troops occupied what was then the capital of China and killed more than 300,000 people. More than 20,000 women were raped and one-third of the city's houses were burned.

The book that the movie's based on - "The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II" - was the first English-language narrative describing the atrocities to reach a wide audience. It remained on the New York Times bestseller list for months.

"This film will be epic in scope but also an intimate portrait of two women - one, a mother of a traditional Chinese family and the other, a real historical figure, the heroic American educator Minnie Vautrin," Green said. "Between them, 300,000 Chinese are saved from certain murder and rape."

Writing the screenplay is William Macdonald, co-creator and senior executive producer of HBO's epic series "Rome."

Macdonald said he reviewed a great of historical material about the event and visited the Massacre Museum in Nanjing in March.

"The visit shocked me," he said.

Macdonald said he hoped the film will make more Westerners aware of the tragedies suffered by Nanjing's residents.

Investors said they will try to get Chinese film star Zhang Ziyi to join the cast, which may also include Malaysia's Michelle Yeoh. Both actresses played major roles in the Oscar-winning "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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