This rather stodgy but still affecting historical drama tells the story of John Rabe, a German industrialist (and Nazi Party member) who was preparing to return home with his wife after 27 years in China when the Japanese army invaded Nanking in December 1937. As the Japanese proceeded to wipe out some 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians (half the city's population), Rabe collaborated with other foreign nationals to turn his workplace, the local plant of the Siemens China Corporation, into the center of a safety zone that protected the lives of more than 200,000 people. Amid this tense standoff, Rabe grieved privately for his wife, who he thought had been killed when Japanese planes attacked her steamship off the coast of Shanghai. Ulrich Tukur plays the title character, and Rabe's fractious partners in peace are nicely rendered by Steve Buscemi, Daniel Bruhl, and Anne Consigny. Florian Gallenberger directed this 2009 German drama from his own script. Subtitled.
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