Producers from China, the United States and Britain are teaming up to produce a major film documenting the atrocities of the Rape of Nanjing, committed by invading Japanese troops in 1937.
The film will be based on late Chinese-American writer Iris Chang's 1997 account called "Rape of Nanking," Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.
Li Xiangmin, chairman of Jiangsu Cultural Industry Group in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, formerly known as Nanking, told China Daily yesterday that a contract has been signed between his group, a Hollywood production company and British investors.
The Chinese side will put in 50 million yuan (US$6.25 million), the American side US$20 million, and the British side US$2 million. The names of the two foreign investors are not available.
He added that the cast will be released "very soon," but declined to give details. The Xinhua report said that investors were hoping to include big names such as Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh, stars of Oscar-winning martial-arts film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
"We hope that we can make the film a classic on a massacre in the Second World War, just like 'Schindler's List' about the miserable experiences of Jewish people during the war," Gerald Green, the American producer of the movie, told Xinhua when the project was unveiled on Monday in Nanjing.
Green has produced Oliver Stone's 1986 film "Salvador" and Emmy-winning 1978 television mini-series "Holocaust," as well as box office hits like 2002's "Bride of the Wind."
Production will be completed by September 1, 2007. It will be premiered in China by December 13, 2007, the 70th anniversary of Nanjing's fall to the Japanese army, and shown in cinemas around the globe in the spring of 2008, according to Li.
"Those who were killed during the massacre should not be forgotten, so we think it is a must to make a movie about it and to show the world the truth," said Li.
"It is not to stimulate hatred, but to let the lessons learned from the past serve the future."
More than 300,000 Nanjing men, women and children were slaughtered by the Japanese in 1937.
In her account, Iris Chang (1968-2004) included stories about her grandparents' harrowing escape, interviews with elderly massacre survivors, as well as evidence found in thousands of rare documents.
Source: China Daily