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Scene from JOHN RABE (photo © Majestic Filmproduktion)

China was in flames when a German businessman became a reluctant hero. When the Imperial Japanese Army invaded China in 1937 and attacked the civilian population of the capital Nanking with unprecedented inhumanity, John Rabe took action. Along with a few other members of the foreign community including doctors and missionaries who remained in the city, he created a safety zone in which a quarter of a million civilians survived what was later to go down in history as the "Nanking Massacre".

John Rabe had become long forgotten by the time his diaries were rediscovered ten years ago. They now form the basis for Florian Gallenberger's fascinating account of what John Rabe, then head of Siemens China Co., did in those turbulent times. To this day he is still revered in China, but he has never been commended, much less rewarded, for his courage and decency in his own country. Upon his return to Germany in 1938, he was arrested by the Gestapo for collaborating with the Chinese. He died in poverty soon after World War II. The New York Times recently referred to Rabe as "The Schindler of China".

Florian Gallenberger was born in Munich in 1972. He studied at the renowned University of Television and Film in Munich. With his thesis film QUIERO SER (2000) Gallenberger received the Honorary Foreign Film Award at the Student Academy Awards® and an Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film. His debut feature SHADOWS OF TIME (2004) won the Bavarian Film Award for Best New Director. His second feature, JOHN RABE (2009) premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and received two Bavarian Film Awards and four German Film Awards, including Best Film. His third feature film, COLONIA (2015) received the Bavarian Film Award for Best Film and was nominated for five German Film Awards. Gallenberger is also a professor at the University of Television and Film in Munich.
Genre History, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2009
Director Florian Gallenberger
Screenplay Florian Gallenberger
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Hansjörg Weißbrich
Annette Focks, Laurent Petitgirard
Tu Ju Hua
Cast Daniel Brühl, Dagmar Manzel, Steve Buscemi, Zhang Jingchu, Teruyuki Kagawa, Anne Consigny, Ulrich Tukur
Producers Mischa Hofmann, Jan Mojto, Benjamin Herrmann
Production Companies H & V Entertainment/Munich, Majestic Filmproduktion, EOS Entertainment/Oberhaching, in co-production with ZDF, Pampa Productions/Paris, Huayi Brothers Media Corporation/Beijing
Length 134 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German, English, Chinese, Japanese
Subtitled Versions English, German, Chinese, Japanese
Festivals Berlin 2009 (Berlinale Special Gala), Pusan 2009, Vancouver 2009, Ghent 2009, Rio 2009, Hamptons 2009, Molodist Kiev 2009, Camerimage Lodz 2009, Palm Springs 2010, Göteborg 2010, CPH:PIX Copenhagen 2010
Awards Bavarian Film Prize 2009 (Producers Award & Best Actor), German Film Award 2009 (Best Film, Best Leading Actor, Best Production Design, Best Costumes)
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund, Bayerischer Bankenfonds, CNC
German Distributor Majestic Filmverleih

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