City of War - The Story of John Rabe 2009

LOVEFiLM By Post

Britain’s largest choice of DVDs and Blu-rays to rent by post £7.99 per month.

Start your 30 day free trial

Prime and Prime Instant Video members can receive unlimited discs, two at a time, for £6.99 per month after trial.

(42) IMDb 7.2/10
LOVEFiLM By Post

As the globe stands on the brink of World War II, Shanghai has fallen and deadly Japanese bombers target the infamous city of Nanking. As panic breaks out and savage bombing raids devastate the city, veteran entrepreneur John Rabe, a German living the high life in the social whirl of Nanking, must make a agonizing choice: to flee or give sanctuary to the terrified population within the gates of his factory. When the Imperial Japanese Army discovers rich "Nazi" Rabes selfless operation, they see it an act of high treason. As a wave of brutality is unleashed on Nanking, Rabe and his comrades find themselves in a race against time to fight for a safety zone to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of this ultimate act of war. But as the bombings desist, a perilous siege begins.

Starring:
Daniel Bruhl, Anne Consigny
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 14 minutes
Starring Daniel Bruhl, Anne Consigny, Zhang Jingchu, Dagmar Manzel, Steve Buscemi, Ulrich Tukur
Director Florian Gallenberger
Genres Drama, Historical
Studio METRODOME VIDEO
Rental release 3 May 2010
Main languages German
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 14 minutes
Starring Daniel Bruhl, Anne Consigny, Zhang Jingchu, Dagmar Manzel, Steve Buscemi, Ulrich Tukur
Director Florian Gallenberger
Genres Drama, Historical
Studio METRODOME VIDEO
Rental release 3 May 2010
Main languages German
Subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By K. Mitchell on 18 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have to say I enjoyed this film, its no Schindler's list but it will inevitably be compared to it. The film is a biopic of John Rabe, a member of the National Socialist Party, working as an engineer for Siemens in China. John has a confused view of the reality of events in Germany having lived in China for 27 years. As the Japanese invade, the film depicts his need to help his fellow human beings and his gradual disillusionment with the political party he belongs to.
I was aware of some of the brutal treatment dished out by the Japanese as they invaded China in 1937 but I didn't know anything about John Rabe or have a real familiarity with actual incidents in Nanking. John is part of the international community in Nanking and is cornered into setting up a free zone to protect Chinese civilians. He along with a number of other brave people do what they can to feed, shelter and protect the civilians from the brutality of Japanese soldiers.
I think the film makers did take some liberties with some of the set pieces and incidents as another reviewer pointed out, however don't let this get in the way of what is a good film.
The film is well made and the special effects top notch, and the director and actors do a good job of making you appreciate some of the attrocities that went on at this time.
Ultimately what the film achieved for me is to spark an interest in finding more out about this time period in China as well as John and the other brave people who helped him. Recommended!
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Pj Williams VINE VOICE on 2 July 2010
Format: DVD
to disagree with the author of the other reviewer I think the fact that they let the film play out and not turn it into a horror fest was a better idea. I think the fact that they show the japanease using bodies to fill holes in the roads, the bodies stacked up all over the place and the murder of civilians going on through out the film was enough to get the message across. they even show actual footage of people being buried alive. I ask, what did he want to see exactly?

the film is well acted through out, and to be honest I don't care about what language it was in. I found it informative and engaging. the story was delivered well and with feeling. like all films about history you take into account that they will change certain aspects for dramatic effect, make up a character here and there, that's film making, they are in it to make money. however the story comes shining through in the 2 hours you have and if your interested in further examination you can go pick up a book on the subject like I do. having read on the subject of nanjing I found I learned something, was reminded of others, and came away feeling that it is a good thing that films like this are made because at least they give people an insight into history,, especially as this is where the second world war really began.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
A German-Chinese-French co-production, City of War: The John Rabe Story aka John Rabe suffered the misfortune of coming out internationally at the same time as the much more stark and graphic City of Life and Death, the two films cancelling each other out at the box-office and in critics' minds, which is a pity because it's quite an impressive picture on its own merits.

Telling the story of John Rabe, the head of Siemens in Nanking who saved thousands of lives during the astonishingly brutal rape and destruction of the city by the Japanese by creating a precarious Safety Zone, it avoids turning him into a movie saint and highlights many of the awkward aspects of his character: as well as having a corporate middle management mentality and a patronising view of the Chinese, he was also a member of the Nazi Party who initially supported the Japanese invasion as potentially good for business. True, the film does provide him with a hardline Nazi to contrast his more gently patrician style of corporate exploitation, but it also offers Steve Buscemi's American doctor to constantly remind the audience of his political allegiance as well as Daniel Bruhl's Jewish diplomat to remind the audience what the Nazis stood for. Yet surprisingly and refreshingly it doesn't impose a rude political awakening upon its hero: he never sees the light and, for all his humanitarianism, remains a Nazi to the end. Thanks to Ulrich Tukur's beautifully observed low key performance he remains a figure who triumphs from his ability to manage logistics and negotiations rather than an idealised movie hero, a quiet, ordinary man applying his business skills to the business of saving lives.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Blu_ray_yes_way on 10 April 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A surprisingly captivating movie with high production values, which looks absolutley fabulous in blu-ray. I expected a long, sombre, dialogue-laden "serious" storyline, instead we were treated to an action-laden viewing that keeps you on the edge of your seat for 120 minutes! The video quality of this blu ray release is top-notch, with deep saturated colours beautifully balanced with deep blacks, and a high level of sharpness that reveals in fine detail even minuscule objects or characters in far distances. This movie proves you can make an exciting action-packed war movie without resorting to shaky-camera technique (à la Hurt Locker!) which defeats the purpose of having "blu ray" technology, ironically created to allow you to enjoy better clarity of your movies! As for sound, be prepared to turn down the volume if you live in a quiet neighbourhood: the scenes of the aerial attacks by the Japanese war planes make full use of the surround sound system, with ear shattering sound of bullets flying in all directions, and explosions that will work your sub woofer to the max; yet, dialogues are clear, and even with my very limited knowelged of the German language, I was able to make out most words I heard. An intelligent movie with high production values and top video and audio qualities in blu ray.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again