City of Life and Death

City of Life and Death is a 2009 Chinese drama film written and directed by Lu Chuan, marking his third feature film. The film deals with the Battle of Nanjing and the following massacre committed by the Japanese army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The film is also known as Nanking! Nanking! or Nanjing! Nanjing!. The film was released in China on April 22, 2009, and became a major box office success in the country, earning CN¥150 million (approximately US$20 million) in its first two and a half weeks alone.


City of Life and Death is set in 1937, shortly before the Second World War. The Imperial Japanese Army has just captured Nanjing, capital of the Republic of China. What followed is historically known as the Nanjing Massacre, a period of several weeks wherein massive numbers of Chinese prisoners-of-war and civilians were killed by the Japanese military.