'Nanking' to hit Chinese movie screens

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An American movie about Japan's mass slaughter of Chinese citizens in the World War II era will be released in the country in two weeks, amid debate over the atrocity's death toll, the film's publicists said Monday.

"Nanking," produced by Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of the American Internet company AOL, will premiere in Beijing July 3 and be released across in China on July 7, the publicists said in a statement.

The movie, directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, examines the Japanese killings by mixing archival footage and actors' readings of witness accounts from Westerners who protected Chinese refugees. Among the actors are Woody Harrelson and Mariel Hemingway.

"Nanking," which was partly shot in Nanjing, apparently has the blessing of the Chinese government, which carefully controls foreign productions either shot or released in the country.

Guttentag said in a recent interview with The Associated Press while the directors submitted an outline of the movie to the Chinese government, local authorities did not interfere with its editorial direction.

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