Mediating trauma: The Nanjing massacre, City of Life and Death, and affect as soft power

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter analyses how the Nanjing Massacre has been compared to the Holocaust in that both have become iconic, traumatic events that have waxed in importance over the past decades. It considers how history, memory and trauma have been used for political purposes to construct identity. The chapter focuses on the theories of affect emotion and feeling/bodily states to analyse the film, City of Life and Death, and examines how meaning is transferred about the Massacre through the senses. The chapter considers how the film’s affect circulates internationally, in that it has won numerous awards at international film festivals, including the 2009 Asian Film Awards, the Asian Pacific Screen Awards, the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Oslo Film Festival. It examines the various affective elements in City of Life and Death. City of Life and Death caused a great deal of controversy when it was released in China because it portrayed the Japanese solider Kadokawa as a benevolent figure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Cinemas
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317431497
ISBN (Print)9781138912465
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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