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'John Rabe', Chinese German film honoured in Germany

German film awards

2009/04/25


BERLIN (AP) - A movie about a German businessman's efforts to protect Chinese civilians against Japanese forces in the 1930s has won the best film award at the annual German Film Prize ceremony.

Director Florian Gallenberger's film "John Rabe" also picked up the best actor award at Friday night's ceremony for Ulrich Tukur, who plays Rabe.

The movie is based on the true story of Rabe, a longtime resident of China who became chairman of a group of foreigners that in 1937 established a neutral zone in the city of Nanjing as a haven for hundreds of thousands of Chinese refugees.

Although a Nazi party member, he was imprisoned and questioned by the Gestapo on his return to Germany.

Historians generally agree the Japanese army slaughtered at least 150,000 civilians and raped tens of thousands of women in the rampage in Nanjing.

"John Rabe," which also stars Steve Buscemi, is due for release in China later this month.

The best director prize at Friday's ceremony went to Andreas Dresen for "Wolke 9" ("Cloud 9.")

Ursula Werner was honored as best actress for her role in that film as a woman who discovers love in her 60s.

(This version CORRECTS SUBS 7th graf to correct director's name to "Dresen," sted "Dresden".)




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