Nanjing questions

City of Life and Death, 2008 dir. Lu Chuan

  1. In what ways is this painful historical chapter (the Rape of Nanking) that happened in 1937 still relevant in 2008 when China was to host the 2008 Olympic Games? 从什么角度上,从什么程度上来看南京大屠杀这段历史还对2008年举办奥运会的中国有任何意义?
  1. How does Kadokawa, a soldier in Japanese imperial army, help reshape the national memory of Nanjing massacre during the Second World War? The same can be asked about Clint Eastwood’s 2008 film Letters from Iwo Jima or, for that matter, 2008 film The Reader directed by Stephen Daldry. 日本皇军士兵的出现是否或者如何帮助改变中国人对二战,特别是南京惨案,的集体记忆?
  1. Give examples of human duality, complexity, conflict or contradiction as evidenced in Mr. Tang, Kadokawa, Xiao Jiang (the prostitute); examples cruelty, cowardice, remorse, and compassion that transcend nationality, politics, and ideology; 在日军士兵,小江,唐先生等人物身上,你看没看到人性的双重性?比如说,自私、自我牺牲、勇敢、无畏、贪生怕死、残忍、善良、同情?
  1. Are Chinese depicted as heroic and united, or cowardly and selfish? How does Lu Chuan portray the invading Japanese army, fearless, brave, two-dimensional, sheer evil, barbaric? Examples. 陆川是否把中国人描写得非常英勇,心齐还是自私和懦弱?他是不是把日本兵描写得非常残暴、丧失人性还是负有同情心和是非感?
  1. What do Miss Jiang (Sunday English school teacher) and Kadokawa have in common? How do they die? 姜老师与日本士兵有哪些相同之处?他们俩是怎么死的?
  1. Why do you think Lu Chuan is interested in such historical personages as John Rabe, a German national and a Nazi party member, and Minnie Vautrin, the American missionary? How does their characterization contribute to the overall meaning of the story? 导演陆川为什么对约翰拉贝这样的德国纳粹党员和米妮佛丁这样的美国传教士感兴趣?他们如何帮助烘托故事的中心思想和主题?
  1. Is it possible to read the film from within the perspective of Chinese nationalism? How so? In what respect are you as a non-Chinese person able to relate to the historical events as reconstructed in the film? 故事是否还或者如何提倡爱国主义和民族主义?作为一个非汉人或者外国人,你怎样解读这个电影?
  1. Why is the episode and relationship of Kadokawa and Yuriko (the Japanese comfort woman) important in the film? How does it contribute to the overall meaning of the film? 日本士兵与日本慰安妇的一幕对整个故事有什么重要性?
  1. How do you interpret the ending in which Kadokawa shoots himself after he sets two Chinese prisoners of war free? 你怎样解读日本士兵最后在放了中国战俘之后自杀身亡?
  1. Is the character Ida, Kadokawa’s commanding officer, a personification of Evil? To what degree is he human caught in the barbarity and carnage of war? 日军指挥官是不是一个完完全全的恶魔,还是残酷战争的一个无奈的受害者?
  1. How does Lu Chuan reshape Chinese historical memory and national identity? 陆川如何重建中国记忆和中国文化认同?
  1. How well does the director deal with the moral complexity of war and cultural/racial conflicts? Should we intellectualize or idealize wars to make a point or make sense of the world when in fact all wars accomplish is conquest and domination? 你觉得陆川对人性的复杂处理得怎么样,好不好?他应不应该重温沉痛的历史来说明一个在当时并不存在的哲学问题?