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Wartime Nanjing drama wins top award

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 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. The Japanese army slaughtered more than 300,000 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.


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