Nanjing Massacre Analysis

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Chang (1997) pointed out the fact that the Nanjing Massacre has been branded into the Chinese collective memory as the unhealed wound for more than half a century. On December 13 in 1937, Japanese troops began six weeks of slaughter after the siege of Nanjing City, resulting in an estimated 300,000 Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers died. However, Japan’s refusals to apologize for its war crime in China, especially the downplaying of the Nanjing Massacre as an “incident” with relatively few causalities in Japan’s new secondary school history textbooks at the start of 2005, have become a rally point for expressions of Chinese nationalism, as demonstrated by the eruption of anti-Japan protests throughout China in 2005, 2010 and 2012, respectively…show more content…
Moreover, the description of the prostitute provides an alternative perspective to approach the Massacre by adding a feminine layer to the narrative. At the beginning, they do not understand the disastrous results of the fall of the country, these cynical adventuresses seeking asylum in the safety zone or the church, and they are still satisfying with themselves in the world of jewelry, nail polish and cosmetics. For example, in City of Life and Death, streetwise Xiao Jiang refuses to cut her beautiful curly long hair for the reason that she believes she will need these sexy and feminine indicators to earn money after the war. In the two films the prostitutes’ female thinking for material gain and beauty almost disrupts the national epic 's seriousness, but enlivens the gloomy diegesis with a pragmatic concern for survival. According to McClintock (2011), this fresh angle in approaching the war, as well as the commercial potential of presenting the exotic female community, appeals to Zhang Yimou greatly, and he changed the film title from The Heroes of Nanking to The Flowers of War. In the church where two groups of women seek sanctuary, “good” and “bad” women are divided by a set of cultural signifiers: blue cotton uniforms versus rainbow-hued silken Cheongsams; choral music versus dirty jokes.
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