Nanking, 1937. In the early days of the Japanese invasion, in the International Zone of this ancient walled city, two young men chance to meet: Sam, the grandson of an American missionary, and Sousuke, a Japanese soldier with a troubled past. The story of their friendship traces the story of this tragic chapter in World War II history. As they struggle to understand one another, they encounter cruelty, discrimination, and a passion that conquers all. They are surrounded by extraordinary people, living in an extraordinary time and place. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper, the devout missionary and his determined wife. Elizabeth, Mary, and Rose, the young women who stay behind when all others have fled. John Rabe, a strong-willed Nazi German who saves many Chinese from certain death. Daichi, Sousuke's reluctant friend, and Heisuke, his brother and most hated enemy. The Chinese survivors of Nanking. What we see in this city ravaged by war blurs all absolutes, leaving us spellbound.
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