Fri, Nov 30, 2007 - Page 17 News List

Other Releases

COMPILED BY MARTIN WILLIAMS

Nanking

Nanking

This US documentary chronicles the 1937 assault on Nanking and massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers. It's one of the most important films of the year. But few will see it thanks to a limited release, little promotion and a restricted rating due to blood-curdling archival footage of atrocities. Oscar-winning director Bill Guttentag and co-director Dan Sturman describe how a number of Europeans saved the lives of ordinary Chinese - including through Nazi connections - as Japanese soldiers ran amok. The Europeans are played by actors such as Jurgen Prochnow, Stephen Dorff, Woody Harrelson and Mariel Hemingway, while other interviews are of actual witnesses to the carnage, including victims of unspeakable violence. Prompted by the bestselling 1997 historical study by Iris Chang (張純如), who committed suicide in late 2004, Nanking has been shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar, no doubt to the dismay of the Japanese government.

Chaos

This flick's distributor seems to have looked through the filmography of lead actor Jason Statham (familiar to Taiwanese audiences because of The Transporter with Shu Qi (舒淇) and Rogue Assassin with Jet Li (李連杰) for something to release - and came up with this 2005 heist drama. Statham is a disgraced police negotiator called in to deal with a hostage situation at a bank robbed by a gang led by Wesley Snipes. The gang escapes, but ... all is not what it seems. This went straight to DVD in the US, perhaps unfairly.

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