Dir. Florian Gallenberger, Germany, China/France 2009, 134 min, digital proj., starring Ulrich Tukur, Daniel Bruehl, Steve Buscemi
Ulrich Tukur stars as John Rabe, a German businessman who became a reluctant hero, when the Imperial Japanese Army invaded China in 1937.
The head of Siemens China Co., along with a few other members of the foreign community, 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 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 1972. From the young age of five, he appeared in various roles in feature films, TV productions and theater plays.
From 1992-1999, he studied Directing at the University of Television & Film in Munich (HFF/M). In 2001, he won an Oscar® for his graduation film Quiero ser (short, 2001).
His other films include Shadows of Time (Schatten der Zeit, 2004) and John Rabe (2009).
Added by Goethe-Institut on May 3, 2011