1937 – Nanking Memories

1937 – Nanking Memories

During WWII, Japanese army occupied Nanjing, the capital of Republic of China at that time. More than 300,000 people were killed in the 6 weeks following Dec. 13, 1937. 

Five missionaries from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) stayed in Nanjing to protect the civilians who could not flee the city, they were: Dr. Miner Searle Bates, Dr. Lewis S. C. Smythe, Ms. Minnie Vautrin, Dr. Richard Freeman Brady, Ms. Grace Louise Bauer and Rev. James McCallum.  They risked their own lives to be a critical presence for peace and justice. They created International Safety Zone, providing food, shelters and medical services to victims, and protected girls and women from the Japanese soldiers. Their actions saved the lives of nearly 250,000 people in Nanjing during the 6 weeks.

A Chinese video crew came to Indianapolis in the spring of 2014 to make a documentary about these missionaries.  A 5-parts documentary: The Memory of Nanjing in 1937 was shown on China Center TV Station (CCTV), Dec. 11, 2014. On the first day, more than 82 million Chinese watched.

The following documentary is presented from five perspectives:  the national interpretation of the Nanking Massacre, the western interpretation of the event, the memory harbored by the Chinese of this agonizing history and their reflections, how do the Japanese remember the event and what the two countries could learn from the Nanking Massacre while heading for the future. The whole film is based on the stories of 5 main figures, telling about the truth-seeking journey they took and the emotional shocks they went through. These 5 include the female Chinese American writer Iris Chang, American director Bill Guttentag, the Japanese teacher Tamaki Matsuoka, , the curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, Zhu Chengshan, and the Chinese historian Bu Ping, Presented this way, the film aims to project the Nanjing Massacre not only as a traumatizing historical episode for the Chinese, but also as a permanent scar in human history.

The full-length television documentary is jointly produced by China Central Television and JiangSu Broadcasting Corporation; The documentary is composed of 5 parts, each lasting 50 minutes. The English version lasts 52 minutes. The whole film will be completed in November, 2014.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5