Scars of Nanking

Dec 13 • Highlights, SMALL SCREEN • 2372 Views • No Comments on Scars of Nanking

Scars of Nanking is a compelling new docudrama is directed by John Ealer (World Wars; Making of the Mob) and produced and written by Frederick Rendina (World Wars; Francisco, The Jesuit). The two-part special, which airs on History (Astro Ch555 & HD575) on 12 and 13 December, tells the story of brave American missionaries who struggle to save Chinese civilians from slaughter and rape at the hands of Japanese invaders during the infamous Nanking Massacre of 1937.

This is the story of some of those who chose to stay in the face of grave personal danger—American missionaries, some of them educators, others doctors or ministers, all determined to do what they could to help safeguard a quarter of a million Chinese civilians.

Not only do they put themselves directly in harm’s way to protect women from rape and both men and women from random execution and murder these Americans play a key role in bringing evidence of the Nanking Massacre to the rest of the world. One missionary, Father John Magee, films the aftermath of atrocities, while another, George Fitch, risks everything to clandestinely spirit the films out of the city.

Dr. Robert Wilson saves countless lives as the only remaining surgeon in Nanking, and a heroic teacher, Minnie Vautrin, prevents hundreds of rapes singlehandedly. Their stories come to life through the letters and diaries they actually wrote during that terrible time as they bear witness to one of the worst wartime atrocities in history.

In Scars Of Nanking: 80 Years Later, the rape and slaughter of thousands of Chinese civilians and prisoners of war by Japanese troops in 1937 resonates across generations. Through the eyes of Chinese schoolchildren, massacre survivors, and their descendants, the history of the infamous “Rape of Nanjing” unfolds.

Exactly eighty years ago, a city and a country were subjected to terrible atrocities at the hands of the invading Japanese military. As many as 300,000 Chinese were killed and 20,000 rapes committed.  As the eightieth anniversary approaches and living survivors dwindle, the filmmakers accompany a high school class of teenagers as they take a tour of the Nanjing Memorial Hall.

A fifth grade class in a Nanjing primary school also learns about this dark chapter in their city’s past. Eighty-eight-year old survivor Xia Shuquin, who lost 7 family members in the massacre, tells her story as we meet four generations of her descendants.

Scars of Nanking, the 2-part special, premieres on 12 & 13 December (Tuesday & Wednesday) on History at 7.10pm.

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