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John Rabe

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Editorial Reviews

Based on actual events, John Rabe tells the story of a German businessman who rescued more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanking Massacre in China by courageously negotiating a safety zone to protect innocent civilians from the Japanese Army. Drawing from John Rabe s 1937 diaries as source material, Academy Award® Winner Florian Gallenberger has crafted a portrait of a man revered as a saint in China to this day and yet never rewarded for his courage during his lifetime. Ulrich Tukur (The White Ribbon, The Lives Of Others) heads an all-star cast including Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds), Anne Consigny (The Diving Bell and the Butterfuly) and Golden Globe Nominee® Steve Buscemi (Ghost World, The Big Lebowski).

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Buscemi, Ulrich Tukur, Daniel Bruhl, Anne Consigny, Dagmar Manzel
  • Directors: Florian Gallenberger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003PMWF62
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,305 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "John Rabe" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had to buy a copy of this one after renting it (on the suggestion of an avid customer who'd seen it). There were only two copies available and the DVD had been watched so many times that it kept pausing or jumping ahead, skipping over crucial parts. However, I was hooked by the parts I could see and was eager to watch it again when I got my brand new copy. I wasn't disappointed and have since raved about this film, urging people to see it. As portrayed in the movie, John Rabe comes across as a man, part of the Nazi regime, who had flaws but also showed extreme courage when trying to provide a safe zone for the Nanjing Chinese. He tried to protect those that he could, attempting to lessen the mass slaughter taking place in 1937 and 1938. Historians know all too well about the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who were killed, often in the most gruesome ways imaginable, during this time period. Even though Rabe was a Nazi, you'll likely find him very sympathetic and he definitely comes across as having strong ethics and morals. He even confronts fellow Nazis who are far more cold-hearted that Rabe. He sends a written appeal to Hitler to stop the killings.He cares about the Chinese and won't sacrifice his passion to the requirements of duties as a Nazi.

One warning: if you can't handle graphic details, this film may not be for you. The violence against the Chinese is shown in detail in many sections and is definitely painful to watch when at its strongest (but historically accurate from what I could find in later research). This film is so inspiring and well done that I'd urge potential viewers to add it to a permanent collection of outstanding historical movies. It was released in only small numbers, based on the copies I could find online and off, so you should grab it while you can.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By D. Lively on December 1, 2010
Format: DVD
I understand that but what I don't understand is why a woman named Minnie Vautrin, an American and director of the Ginling Women's Arts and Sciences College in Nanking, whose behavior was every bit as intelligent, courageous and selfless as John Rabe's during Nanking's horrific Japanese invasion, has been replaced by a fictitious Frenchwoman, who aside from foolishly endangering the whole Nanking safety zone, also has an unrequited crush on Mr. Rabe. Why? This is not just a minor quibble of historical accuracy. One of the reviews here shows that this movie leaves the impression that "Valerie Dupres" was real.

Minnie Vautrin was known by the Chinese as "The Living Goddess of Nanking," and with good reason. I am baffled by the movie makers' decision to elide this extraordinary woman from the record altogether.

This is not a bad movie but for the real story please read Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking. John Rabe was a hero, but there was more than one there in that terrible place and time and they all deserve to be known.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nachtjager on February 15, 2012
Format: DVD
I was vaguely familiar with the story of Rabe but this movie inspired me to do a little more study on the man - and I am VERY impressed with how accurate this movie is! I cannot say enough good things about this movie, it is superbly filmed, the sets are magnificent, the uniforms and equipment are painstakingly accurate, and the CG work with the earlier versions of the Japanese Nakajima fighters and dive bombers is extremely good, but not perfect. The savage behavior of the Japanese at Nanking is told here, but they have dialed the gore back quite a bit from what I was expecting so that audiences will not be completely repelled by what they see. There are some gruesome scenes, but not as many as you see in most modern war epics and the scale of the criminal behavior of the Japanese troops is a bit underplayed.

This movie is impressive in almost every respect. The acting is fantastic, the script is extremely well done, and I absolutely loved the way they did the languages in this movie. When Rabe and his wife or German associates are alone, they speak German and there are subtitles. When he's with others of the international community, they speak English. The Japanese speak Japanese with subtitles, the Chinese speak Chinese with subtitles - it's historically just as it should be - I loved that! It made you feel very much like you were just casually observing this man's life and his personal torment to decide what was most important to him - his career? His wife? His duty to Germany? His responsibility to humanity? It is a truly incredible story that is FAR MORE deserving of being told than that of Oskar Schindler. Rabe made no profit from his humanitarian efforts, on the contrary, he bankrupted himself in the process and died a pauper.
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Format: DVD
Having read The Good German of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe, I was eager to watch this dramatization of John Rabe's role in saving hundreds of thousands of Chinese during the massacre of Nanjing by the Japanese Imperial army in 1937. Ulrich Tukur is credible as the German businessman who opts to stay and protect the Chinese civilians by setting up a Safety Zone. This safety zone protected around 200,000 Chinese civilians (historical accounts differ as to the actual number) from almost certain death during the six-week period that the Japanese troops terrorized the city and its inhabitants. This historical event has come to be known as the Nanjing Massacre (or Nanking Massacre), and is also called the Rape of Nanking because of the thousands of women and children who were brutally assaulted by Japanese soldiers during this period.

The movie itself has excerpts of Rabe's diaries as the "narrator" of events as they unfold. Ulrich Tukur plays John Rabe and delivers a compelling and credible performance. I liked that the movie does not overly romanticize Rabe. He is portrayed as a loyal citizen of Nazi Germany, and one who initially has hopes that his Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, will step in and put a stop to Japanese atrocities in Nanjing (Japan being Germany's ally during WW II). He is disturbed when a fellow German, Dr. Georg Rosen (Daniel Bruhl) salutes "Heil Shitler" and reprimands him for being unpatriotic. Of course, Rosen has good reason for his act, explaining how Hitler's anti-Semitic policies have affected his family. It paints a rather naive picture of Rabe, who having spent about 27 years in China, has not realized (or perhaps, fails to see?) the danger posed by the Nazis.
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