Prologue screen: 谨以此片纪念九一八事变76周年
Translation: Film commemorating 76th anniversary of the “918 Incident”[Note: Mukden Railway Incident of 18th September 1931]
Brief review: This 16-minute film (“Record of Atrocities Committed by the Japanese Military during the Invasion of China”) sets the scene for the second Sino-Japanese war, beginning with a historical background which includes the first Sino-Japanese war and the annexation of Taiwan.
It covers the Mukden railway incident of 18th September 1931, where the Japanese military instigated an explosion, upon which pretext the invasion of China was sanctioned, leading to the annexation of Manchuria and the establishment of the puppet government of Manchukuo in 1932. This led to incessant fighting in various cities and towns until July 1937, whereby following unannounced military manoeuvres and on the pretext of locating a missing Japanese soldier, the Imperial Japanese army launched multiple attacks around the Marco Polo Bridge outside Wanping city, southwest of Beiping (Beijing). This eventually escalated to all out war and led to the fall of Beiping and Tianjin, followed shortly by the Battle of Shanghai. Once Shanghai was secured, the Japanese Imperial Army headed for the nation’s capital at Nanjing, which fell into Japanese hands in December 1937.
The film contains disturbing and explicit archival footage, in particular of the carnage from the Nanjing Massacre, including clandestine footage of civilians being rounded up, injuries inflicted, and scenes of mass murder. It ends with scenes at a commemoration ceremony at Nanjing Memorial, where Nanjing Middle School (secondary) students pay tribute to the memory of those lost.