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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Beijing launch for massacre film
Nanking premiere
Co-director Guttentag (left) introduced the film at Tuesday's premiere
A US-made documentary about a massacre committed by Japanese soldiers in the Chinese city of Nanjing in 1937 has had its premiere in Beijing.

In it, actors like Woody Harrelson and Stephen Dorff read diary entries by Westerners in the city at the time.

The film is called Nanking, the name of the city in English at the time, and opens in China on Saturday.

It is doubtful, though, it will ever be shown in Japan, where historians claim the massacre has been exaggerated.

Directed by Bull Guttentag and Dan Sturman, the film focuses on how US missionaries worked with German businessmen to set up a safe zone for Chinese refugees.

It combines the readings with archive footage and testimony from survivors.

China has long contended that 300,000 people died in the attack, but a group of MPs from Japan's governing party recently said no more than 20,000 were killed.

Some experts argue a more accurate estimate is between 150,000 and 200,000.


SEE ALSO
Japan MPs play down 1937 killings
19 Jun 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Victory for Japan's war critics
23 Aug 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Scarred by history: The Rape of Nanjing
11 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Fury at Nanking 'lie' claim
13 Jul 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan textbook angers neighbours
03 Apr 01 |  Asia-Pacific

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