Through the depiction of Iris Chang’s determination and courage to unearth this hidden chapter of history, the film reveals the inhumanity of the Nanjing Massacre. Geared for global audiences, particularly those in the western world where the Asian WWII history is rarely known, the film was produced and directed by a Canadian independent film production company. It is also an important educational tool in classrooms.
Iris Chang has been a respected humanitarian, outstanding journalist and advocate for justice. This docudrama portrays Iris Chang’s courage and unfaltering conviction to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, while providing an accurate historical account of the 1937 Nanking Massacre. The “Rape of Nanking,” as the massacre was called, was front-page news when it happened, but was soon forgotten in the west, amid the subsequent events of WWII.
The story starts in 1994 when Iris Chang saw an exhibit of photographs of the atrocities at a conference, and undertook to rescue this event from oblivion. Over the next three years, she researched and wrote a book that became a highly praised best seller. The book also ignited a firestorm of controversy in Japan, where many prominent people continue, to this day, to deny that the Japanese Imperial Army committed war crimes during WWII.
The film obtained full co-operation from Iris Chang’s parents who provided valuable information about their beloved daughter. A research team reviewed many archives on the Nanking Massacre and Iris Chang, and uncovered more than 200 boxes of Iris Chang’s research work and archives at the Hoover Institute. The research team was also able to obtain the original videotapes taken by Iris of survivors while she was in Nanking, and the original films taken by Missionary, John McGee, during the Massacre. The production team found and interviewed numerous survivors in Nanking, as well as former Japanese soldiers, right-wing revisionists, and peace activists in Japan.
Filmed in Nanjing, Japan and North America, the docudrama premiered in 2007 in Toronto and many other cities in North America and Asia. The television premiere of “Iris Chang - the Rape of Nanking” aired on Canada’s History Channel on December 13, 2007 – the 70th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre. The film has won many international film festival awards and earned very high accreditations.
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