ThinkFilm picks up 'Nanking'


ThinkFilm has acquired North American distribution rights to "Nanking," a documentary chronicling Japan's World War II invasion of China featuring the narration of Woody Harrelson, Stephen Dorff and Mariel Hemingway.

Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's feature revisits the infamous 1937 attack on the citizens of Nanking, resulting in the murder of 150,000-300,000 and the rape of tens of thousands. The film features interviews with Chinese survivors and Japanese soldiers, along with letters and diary entries read by actors portraying Westerners who helped save more than 200,000 refugees.

"Nanking" is the first feature to be produced by AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis. Guttentag and Michael Jacob also served as producers.

ThinkFilm theatrical head Mark Urman said the distributor plans to release the film at year's end. It will be timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the attack known as the Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking.

"Recent events in Asia have reminded us that what happened in Nanking 70 years ago this December remains an open wound between China and Japan," said Leonsis, referring to recent remarks by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying there was no proof of alleged sexual slavery of women by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Abe said Thursday that he would launch an investigation into the issue after an outcry over his remarks in the U.S. and several Asian countries.