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City of Life and Death [Blu-ray]


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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version
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$67.98 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gao Yuanyuan, Liu Ye, Fan Wei, Hideo Nakaizumi, Yuko Miyamoto
  • Directors: Lu Chuan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Dolby, Subtitled, Import
  • Language: Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Cantonese, English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Mega Stars
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002UOKXNS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Title: City of Life and Death Blu-Ray Starring: Liu Ye (Curse Of The Golden Flower), Fan Wei, Gao Yuan Yuan, Nakaizumi Hideo, John Paisley Region A - Ensure that your Blu-Ray player plays Region A discs Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese Audio: 7.1, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital 5.1 Running Time: 135 minutes Format: NTSC (Please ensure your BD player is compatible) Synopsis China, December 1937. The country is at war with Japan. Beijing and Shanghai have already fallen. Japanese troops arrive at the doors of the capital, Nanjing. Following weeks of bombardment, local and foreign officials have fled the city in ruins. Lu, a charismatic Chinese General intensely determined to repel the enemy, leads his men in defence of their capital, street by street. They have little ammunition left as they face the Japanese tanks, but they refuse to leave. Mr. TANG is guardedly optimistic as he and his family flee to the International Safety Zone, where a growing number of Chinese civilians find shelter. Operated by the city's few remaining foreigners, the zone has become a large refugee camp. Miss JIANG, a young Chinese teacher with a strong sense of mission, coordinates life in this crowded enclave, attempting to protect as many individuals as she can.

Customer Reviews

It's probably the best film I've seen in 2011, and I've seen quite a bit.
Vesal Stoakley
Initially, there's the view from the Chinese soldiers defending the city, as well as the view from a young Japanese officer Kadokawa.
Keris Nine
This is an unforgettable film that resonates within you for a very long time with its realistic and stunning cinematography.
Dennis A. Amith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 22, 2010
Format: DVD
As far as definitions for Hell on Earth go, the assault on the Chinese city of Nanking by the invading Japanese army in 1937 is certainly on a par with the horrors of the worst of the Nazi concentration camps. Ruthlessly and systematically wiping out of the Chinese army soldiers defending the town, the abuse, torture and mass execution of citizens and the notorious rape and murder of the city's women engaged as "comfort women" for the Japanese troops is one of the darkest moments in the history of modern war crimes.

It's a harrowing subject with material of such a degree of obscenity that, despite it being a popular subject for film with several documentary attempts and another film about John Rabe released around the same time as this one, it's a difficult one to approach within the limits of what a conventional war movie can show. Appropriately then, Lu Chuan adopts a style and approach similar to Steven Spielberg in Schindler's List, shooting in eye-catching widescreen black-and-white, taking in multiple viewpoints that chart the complete breakdown of any recognisable human qualities into barbarism on an unimaginable scale. Initially, there's the view from the Chinese soldiers defending the city, as well as the view from a young Japanese officer Kadokawa. The city taken, the view switches to the "Safe Zone" (which in reality is far from safe at all) established by the Nazi representative in the town John Rabe, seen mainly from the perspective of his Chinese assistant Mr Tang, his wife and family.

City of Life and Death is an exceptionally well-made film, a true war epic, although, like Schindler's List, it could also be accused of being much too attractively photographed in glossy black-and-white, effectively glamorising a subject that should simply be unwatchable.
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Format: Blu-ray
This epic film about the siege and massacre of Nanking in 1937 by Japanese forces pulls no punches, and depicts things as they were, at least as best as that can be accomplished while focused on the perspectives of a small number of recognizable characters. While there are heroic acts on the part of a few, there are no real heroes here who manage to make it through all the way against all odds. In the face of this atrocity, there is no Schindler to save the day (for some), and the Nazi businessman who does try to protect some of the women and children left behind when their husbands have been executed, ends up leaving, with regrets, when he's called back by the German leadership who are unwilling to risk antagonizing Japan. While there are atrocious acts on the part of many, the film does not seek to demonize so much as to demonstrate the devastation of war on all who are a part of it. The film doesn't in any way excuse the rapes and the murder of civilians that did take place during this awful event, but it does manage to make clear that many who perpetrated these actions had been damaged by the war and had reached a point where they had become numb, where the prevalence of death had deadened them to the possibilities of the life and love they destroyed.

Celebrated Chinese director Lu Chuan, whose previous film was the very effective but much smaller scale Mountain Patrol: Kekexili, makes the unconventional (and, as it turned out highly controversial in his home country) decision to convey events largely from the perspective of a young Japanese officer, named Kadokawa.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on November 18, 2011
Format: DVD
We in the West firmly believe we're first in all things. Our triumphs are greater, our tragedies more shattering. "City of Life and Death" offers a rebuttal to that argument; the Rape of Nanking sadly ranks high among the great atrocities of the 20th century.

In late 1937, the Japanese army conquered the then capital of China and in the months that followed their occupying force adopted a systemic policy of rape and murder: an estimated 300,000 were killed and as many as 80,000 Chinese women and girls were raped. Thankfully, writer-director Lu Chuan tells the story of this massacre in gorgeous black and white imagery, giving it a documentary feel. I have no doubt that if this movie were shot in color it would be too unbearable to watch in one sitting.

"Life and Death" is broken into two sections. The first shows the fall of Nanking. The Chinese army, cursed with horrible equipment and worse leaders, fights valiantly but is doomed. The Japanese move in and soon the Chinese trample each other in flight. These early scenes recall "Saving Private Ryan" in their gritty realism.

The second section focuses on the occupation of Nanking, and the tone shifts from a war movie into much darker territory. As the Chinese are rounded up, we meet a few Japanese soldiers. The most important of these is Kadokawa (Hideo Nakaizumi), a grunt who becomes our eyes from the invaders' perspective. These Japanese soldiers are terrified young men trying to contain tens of thousands of terrified Chinese. This may be the last moment of balance the movie offers.

Once the Japanese have secured Nanking, they abandon humanity. Waves of Chinese, soldiers and civilians, adults and children, are efficiently disposed of: incinerated, machine-gunned, bayoneted, or buried alive.
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Topic From this Discussion
Region 3 only
You have a few options:
1.) search for a hack on your DVD player to allow it to play region 3 discs
2.) wait for a region 1 version
3.) you can buy the VCD (video cd) version
4.) you can buy the Blu-Ray version
5.) you can buy an all region DVD player
Sep 8, 2010 by Wahter |  See all 2 posts
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City of Life and Death [Blu-ray]
This item: City of Life and Death [Blu-ray]
Price: $67.98
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com