City Of War: The John Rabe Story review

Meet John Rabe: a Nazi businessman who saved thousands from genocide during the 1937 Rape Of Nanking.

Florian Gallenberger’s impressively mounted biopic is suitably gut-wrenching in its depiction of Japanese atrocities. Yet complexity and freshness alike are thwarted by those pesky Schindler’s List comparisons – inevitable, of course, but also actively encouraged by the director’s efficient emulation of Spielberg’s ‘Holocaust hero’ template.

And if ironies abound in Rabe’s naïve Führer-faith, warding off air raids with a giant Swastika, Ulrich Tukur’s cuddlesome performance leaves no doubt he’s a softie, really.


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